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Why Emergency Room Doctors Love Their Jobs

By: K.D. Claymer


Date Added : June 28, 2011 Views : 1056
Rate Author : Current : 2.61 /5
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Ask any emergency room doctor what he or she likes about his job and you will hear the same adjectives over and over: fast-paced… exciting… unpredictable. The emergency room doctor job seems to attract physicians who thrive on uncertainty and who love to come to work each day not knowing what’s going to walk in the door.

One day it could be a toddler with the flu… another day, a victim of a serious car accident. The sheer range of maladies that comprise the emergency room doctor’s job is truly amazing. Such diversity calls for a physician who has expertise in almost every area of modern medicine and can apply that knowledge quickly and efficiently. After all, lives could depend on it!

Emergency room doctors don’t have to be physically present with patients in order to help them: thanks to modern telecommunications, these emergency medicine specialists can begin treating patients at the scene of an accident or in the ambulance by relaying their orders through an emergency medical technician (EMT) who is actually on the scene.

Not so long ago there was no emergency medicine specialty – only doctors trained in other specialties who filled a shift in the emergency room as part of their regular job in another department of the hospital. No doubt these doctors did the best they could but they weren’t specially trained to handle acute emergencies like patients who have stopped breathing, were bleeding profusely or who suffered from some other acute trauma.

That situation began to change in 1979 when The American Board of Medical Specialties recognized emergency medicine as the nation's 23rd medical specialty. Just like any other specialty, emergency room doctors must complete residency programs of 3-4 years before they can be placed in jobs in hospital emergency rooms across the country. Residency programs which combine emergency medicine and another specialty such as pediatrics or internal medicine are also available. These programs are typically five years long and result in dual certification. There are also fellowships following residency which lead to subspecialty certification in Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Sports Medicine.

As part of their training, emergency medicine residents can expect to rotate through emergency departments, intensive care units, pediatric and obstetric units, and other specialties. After all, emergency room doctor jobs encompass a vast range of medical, surgical and even psychiatric emergencies. It only makes sense that emergency room doctors would need to see these other departments in action because they may be called upon to perform similar procedures.

As with any other physician job, the hours are long. Shifts may include working weekends, nights and holidays. However, schedules are fixed in advance so emergency room doctors can plan their personal lives accordingly. More good news: there is rarely an “on- call” schedule outside of the regularly-assigned shift.

Emergency room doctors usually work in hospitals in medium-sized to large cities. According to an American Medical Association survey, 87% of emergency room doctors felt their jobs met their expectations. On a scale of 1= “very unsatisfied” with their current job to 5= “very satisfied,” those surveyed averaged 3.8.


Keith Klamer is the author of this article on emergency room doctor. Find more information, about emergency room doctor salary here

Article Source: Why Emergency Room Doctors Love Their Jobs

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