Emergency Medicine

There’s been a lot of debate over the past few weeks, but the long and short of it is that I am seriously considering switching my career path to Emergency Medicine (that’s A&E for all you regular folks). I’m currently in training as a general physician, but on a programme that incorporates more elements of EM/intensive care/anaesthetics than is typical for medical trainees. I chose this programme specifically to address my career uncertainty, and what can I say? I’m still uncertain!

I’ve been to careers days and careers meetings and sent career e-mails to a whole range of people up-to and including the head of the ACCS training programme for my region, the head of school for Emergency Medicine, and some consultants within the department who are wise in such matters. The conclusion is that I should finish off the ACCS medicine training programme, then apply for a further year of A&E, after which I would be eligible for a registrar post in Emergency Medicine.

The prospect of these various life-changing decisions is alarming. Fortunately, I am going to take a year out around then, which will be an excellent pause to consider all of my options.

decision timeMaybe I’ll take two. Or maybe just leave the country. Or all of the above.

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3 responses to “Emergency Medicine

  1. Well it’s not my place to dictate your fate. I don’t even read every post (shocking, I know!) but I will suggest this… If you go into emerg you’ll probably have had enough, eventually. My wife has just left after about 15 years. Rude patients, rough families, pushy managers… you know the story.

    It’s probably the only specialty you can leave and have everyone else wanting to employ you. Cardio? Neuro? Endo? Peads? You’ll have done it all and be able to walk into anything you want when that time comes.

    Not that I’m encouraging a fatalistic view. You may love it for life and find the perfect hospital. But if you don’t, emerg opens a lot of doors. Keep that in mind too. And good luck….

    • You’ve hit my main concern about EM right on the nose – I worry that I will get bored of it and burn out. Unfortunately, the way that medical training is shaping up in the UK means that I’m unlikely to be able to walk into anything else once I’ve committed to the A&E training programme, and therein lies my biggest hesitation.

      I also don’t know that there exists a job that I won’t get bored of eventually. EM is the one that I’ve found the most interesting thus far; it holds my attention and I enjoy myself at work.

      Guess we’ll find out…

      • Bored, I doubt. As you say, it’s enough variety to keep you amused. Burn out is more likely from what I’ve seen from colleagues.
        I don’t know how training has changed in the 10 years since we shipped over the pond. I would have thought EM would prepare you for anything, but if Specialisation takes over training, then it poses a challenge for sure.
        Good luck whichever you decide to do

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