Less than a year ago, I completed my emergency medicine residency, and I am currently waiting to take the oral exam in the fall. I work in a very underserved area. Our ED is staffed by a couple of emergency medicine trained doctors, multiple family practitioners, and a psychiatrist.
It is interesting to me that emergency medicine seems to be the only specialty in which hospitals and patients allow a physician trained in another specialty to pose as emergency physicians. Emergency medicine is not the only specialty where there is a shortage, where I work or in the nation. (“EM Fellowships for FPs: Bane or Boon?” EMN 2010;32:1.)
But emergency physicians cannot be urologists, cardiologists, general surgeons, internists, or any other specialist just because there is a shortage. Other specialty boards and certifications are held sacred, and only those who have been residency trained in those specialties can practice in those specialties. There are no alternate pathways for someone to become a surgeon or a psychiatrist; why shouldn't it be the same in emergency medicine?
Jonathan Walker, DO