What do emergency physicians do?

An emergency physician focuses on the immediate decision making and action necessary to prevent death or any further disability both in the pre-hospital setting by directing emergency medical technicians and in the emergency department. The emergency physician provides immediate recognition, evaluation, care, stabilization, and disposition of a generally diversified population of adult and pediatric patients in response to acute illness and injury.

What is emergency medicine training like?

Training is three to four years in length. Average residency hours per week are 56.0. Programs also exist combining Emergency Medicine with either Internal Medicine or Pediatrics. These are five years long and lead to dual certification.

Fellowships following residency leading to subspecialty certification are offered in Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Sports Medicine. Some Critical Care programs accept Emergency Medicine residency graduates. Fellowships are also available in Research, Hyperbaric Medicine, Medical Education, Medical Information Services, and Emergency Medical Service Administration.

--Iserson’s Getting Into A Residency

What is the lifestyle of an emergency physician?

As an EM physician, hours are long, but schedules are fixed in advance. Shifts may include working weekends, nights and holidays. The average is 39 hours per week doing patient care. There is rarely a call schedule outside of assigned working hours in this specialty. The mean annual income after expenses and before taxes is $197,000.

EM clinicians are mainly hospital-based. Most practitioners work in medium to large cities. According to AMA surveys, 87% of EM physicians felt that their practice activities met their expectations. On a scale of 1=very unsatisfied with their current practice position to 5=very satisfied, those surveyed averaged 3.8.

--Iserson’s Getting Into A Residency

How competitive is emergency medicine?

Emergency Medicine has become competitive. Programs look for high United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) scores, research experience, election to AOA (honorary), and outstanding performance on Emergency Medicine clerkships.

--Iserson’s Getting Into A Residency

What can emergency physicians specialize in?

Sports Medicine
Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Medical Toxicology
Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine
Fellowship opportunities are available in research and administration

How did emergency medicine get started?

Emergency medicine is a relatively young specialty, with the oldest residency dating back to 1970. The American Board of Medical Specialties recognized EM as the nation's 23rd medical specialty in 1979.

For a full history: http://www.emra.org/index.cfm

-- American Board of Medical Specialties. Medical Specialty Certification and Related Matters

How can I get more exposure to emergency medicine in medical school?

Come to EMIG activities!!!
Shadow an emergency physician. Contact Rachel Yu for details.
Research experience related to EM
Emergency Medicine elective

How can I get more information about emergency medicine?

University of Michigan Emergency Medicine Department

Career Information:

American Association of Medical Colleges: Careers in Medicine


Emergency Medicine Websites (top two sites very helpful)

Society of Academic Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medicine Residents Associations

American Academy of Emergency Medicine

American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association
Free membership for one year, great information resource about EM applications, residencies, etc.

National Center for Emergency Medicine Informatics

American College of Emergency Physicians

American Board of Emergency Medicine