Residents do most of their clinical work at the Duke University Hospital Emergency Department, which sees over 70,000 visits a year through 36 adult beds, 18 pediatric beds, and 4 resuscitation rooms. The ED also hosts an eight-bed psychiatric evaluation unit staffed 24/7 by psychiatrists and social workers, and an 11-bed observation unit.

EM residents benefit from Duke's designations as a Level One trauma center, stroke center, and PCI center. They also take care of and learn from Duke's ultra-specialized patient population in advanced heart failure, transplant medicine, oncology, immunology, and many more internationally recognized fields.

Over a quarter of Duke adult visits result in admission, with 9 percent admitted to ICUs, a marker of the high acuity of Duke ED patients. Twenty percent of ED visits are for trauma, with Level 1 and 2 traumas exceeding 30 percent of trauma visits. Blunt trauma comprises about 85 percent of Duke trauma visits, with around 15 percent penetrating trauma. Nearly 25 percent of trauma patients are admitted to an ICU.

Residents complement their tertiary care ED experience with rotations at Duke Regional Hospital, a community hospital in north Durham 15 minutes away, and at the Durham Veterans Administration Medical Center across the street.