What does an emergency medicine physician do?
Emergency medicine physicians (also known as emergency doctors) work in emergency departments and treat patients with acute illnesses and injuries that require immediate medical attention. They quickly diagnose conditions and provide acute medical care to stabilize patients. They specialize in trauma care, cardiac life support, advanced airway management, and management of other care that can be life-threatening. Emergency medicine doctors often see a large volume of patients, providing the necessary emergency care and arranging for further care or release after effective treatment has concluded. They also often perform emergency surgical procedures when needed.
What kind of training does an emergency medicine physician need?
Like all doctors, emergency medicine physicians must complete 4 years of undergraduate study, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency. Medical school consists of gaining a solid understanding of the human body and a variety of conditions and diseases through intensive instruction and clinical rotations. Internships and residencies provide prospective emergency medicine physicians with practical experience of treating patients and interacting with medical personnel. All physicians must be licensed to practice. Licensing requirements include completing an accredited medical school, completing graduate medical education, and passing a licensing examination. Most emergency medicine physicians become board certified from the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) or other board organizations.
What are the prospects for a career as an emergency medicine physician?
Employment of all physicians is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The growing population and increase in emergencies will drive job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be very good, especially for emergency medicine physicians with extensive experience. Numerous job openings will result from the need to replace emergency medicine physicians that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do emergency medicine physicians make?
As of November 2009, emergency medicine physicians with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $103,225 and $197,893. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $92,823 and $201,495 (2).
A career as an emergency medicine physician is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in caring for patients suffering from a variety of medical, surgical, and psychiatric emergencies. Emergency medicine physicians must be able to work in a fast-paced and stressful environment and be able to make quick decisions and assessments. They must have excellent physical stamina, confidence, and self-motivation. They must also have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and remain calm under stress. Emergency medical physicians must be able to work flexible hours and be cooperative members of medical teams.