FAMILY DOCS IN EMERGENCY MEDICINE
It has been my experience that many of the medical students I’ve worked with over the years want to practice emergency medicine. Personally, having practiced pre-hospital emergency medicine, I am not sure why this is. But I can see the allure of the action of the emergency department tempered against the good pay and predictable schedule.
But there is often a problem with the plans of these foreign medical graduate to practice emergency medicine: emergency medicine residency slots are very competitive! As such, as a foreign medical graduate you need to be at the top of your class to be competitive. I’m not saying it can’t be done, only that doing it is a real challenged.
So, what happens if you love the idea of being an ER doc, but your grades and board scores are not as great as you would like? Are you condemned to a life as a hospitalist following an IM residency? (Not that there is anything wrong with being a hospitalist or an internist, and many people want to follow that career path.) But for those who want the excitement of the ER, but who lack the credentials, there is hope.
FAMILY DOCS CAN, AND DO, PRACTICE EMERGENCY MEDICINE
The good news is: there are many, many family doctors who practice emergency medicine. And if you dream is to be an ER doc, but you didn’t quite have what it took to get an EM residency, then FM is the way to go!
By the unique nature of a family medicine residency (three years long) you will be prepared to work in smaller emergency rooms providing care to a wide-range of patients. In fact, during your family medicine residency, you can use elective rotations to do more time in the emergency room, or even in areas like the ICU where you can learn important procedural skills needed in the ER. Doing so will leave you well prepared to find either locum or permanent jobs in smaller emergency rooms immediately following your residency completion.
In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians has a position paper in support of family doctors delivering emergency room care. The fact is, there will never be enough board-certified emergency medicine physicians to cover every emergency room in America, and the family physician has the broad training (broadest training in medicine) available to help fill those gaps.
And the pay is better than primary care as well! You can work fewer hours covering smaller emergency rooms and still make just as much, and more, money, while living your dream of practicing emergency medicine as a family doc.
EMERGENCY MEDICINE FELLOWSHIPS
What if you still feel you need more training following your residency? While a fellowship is not required to practice emergency medicine in smaller ER’s, there are 1-2 year fellowships in emergency medicine for family docs.
Many of these fellowships lead to certification in emergency medicine from the American Board of Physician Specialties. The American Board of Physician Specialties has a list of emergency medicine fellowships for family doctors that meet their certification criteria. You can also search the American Academy of Family Physicians for fellowships in emergency medicine, as well as other areas, like adolescent medicine and addiction medicine.
READY TO START YOUR MEDICAL CAREER?
We know what it takes to be a doctor. We are the second oldest private medical university in the Caribbean, producing physicians for the world since 1982. If you have always dreamed of being a physician, helping those in need, and earning the respect of your community, then UHSA is right for you.
If you are a high school graduate, or a university graduate who lacks the premedical pre-requisite courses, why not join our premedical program? It will give you all the credits you need to be promoted to our world-class MD program.
If you are a university graduate who has the premedical pre-requisites, then look at direct entry into our MD program, where you will learn to be not only a physician, but a healthcare leader.
If you want to work in in global health, or just want to expand your understanding of the role of public health and prevention while also enhancing your career prospects, then our joint MD/MPH program is right for you.
We would love to have you join the UHSA family! Please contact our Admissions Team to learn more about living your dream with UHSA family.