Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

28Jul/08Off

10 things that should make you think ER

A good friend just sent me this link, which lists 10 things that should make you think "hey, my personality fits ER!" To steal an excerpt from Dr. Hayward's article (originally h/t Desperado on the EM forum):

1. The Emergency Physician (EP) sees his profession as a job, not a calling. You will notice in your medical school class that there are those who live, eat, and sleep medicine. Those people typically do not go into EM. EPs typically have many outside interests, and are interested in a job that allows them to pursue those interests as well as medicine.

2. EPs love working up undifferentiated complaints. They got upset in their third year medicine rotations when they were told to go down to the ED and work up the guy with the COPD exacerbation. They wondered, “If I already know he has a COPD exacerbation, what’s left to work up?”

3. EPs think a doctor-patient relationship is what you have when someone gives you a chart with a patient’s name on it, not what happens after following someone’s hypertension for 10 years.

4. EPs like to do procedures. They think sticking people with needles is fun.

5. EPs aren’t afraid to make a decision on limited information.

6. EPs like to work as a team. They know what their nurses do outside of the hospital, and nurses call them by their first names.

7. EPs like to multi-task. EPs prefer to work while they’re at work.

8. EPs prefer a specialty of breadth to a specialty of depth. They enjoy learning practical information, and using common sense.

9. EPs enjoy being able to take care of people from all walks of life, rich, poor, old, young, smart, stupid, etc., without having to worry about whether they can pay you.

10. EPs typically enjoy a large percentage of their medical school rotations. They often think psychiatry is interesting, just not necessarily something they’d like to do all day. They enjoyed surgery, they enjoyed ICU, they may even have liked OB/GYN. They usually liked internal medicine, but detested rounding for hours and writing 10-page-long notes.

Interestingly enough, I have verbatim spoken the words in #2, #4, and #10... and paraphrased every other one at some point in my career. If you're considering Emergency Medicine and want to read more, I suggest reading the rest of the article.

Awesome! I'm off to go put in a 2 hour 'shift' on the bike... later gators.

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  1. Interesting. I have that rotation coming up in a month…. so I guess we’ll see how I like it!

  2. Make that a few months. Hello wishful time warp!

  3. Sorry that i’m just reading this now… but woah a lot of that sounds like me. Scary!!! but i am doing my emergency rotation right now and i have to say, i don’t like it that much. I hate standing all day long. My whole body aches by the time i get home. Emergency docs are crazy. They stand for EVERYTHING. They stand while they write in the notes, stand while eating, stand while doing any procedure or taking a history etc. About the only time i see them sit is while using a computer and then… several of the computers in our ER don’t even have chairs near them. They are on a high counter so you can, once again, stand while using them!! AHHH


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