Furthermore, as medical schools are looking towards restructuring their overall curriculum to incorporate more clinical exposure from day 1, the diverse, high-volume environment of the Emergency Department (ED) makes it a perfect fit for students. Recall back to when you were a first-year medical student. How amazing would it have been to observe ED patients to reinforce your learning about pharmacology, anatomy, pathology, and heart sounds?
From an institutional standpoint, the EM clerkship fulfills many of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) educational requirements. The LCME is the regulatory body that accredits U.S. and Canadian medical schools. The LCME recognizes that the ED provides students with an unparalleled learning opportunity. Consequently, more and more schools are making EM clerkships mandatory. In 2004, about 39% of U.S. medical schools had mandatory EM clerkships for third-year medical students. There's an ongoing CDEM study to determine the more updated numbers (I'm guessing it'll be closer to 50%).
Wald D, Lin M, Manthey D, Rogers R, Zun L, Christopher T. (2010). Emergency Medicine in the Medical School Curriculum. Academic Emergency Medicine, 17 DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00896.x