Letter to the Editor
I agree with every single point Alex Mohseni, MD, articulated in his article. (“Why I Quit Emergency Medicine,” EMN 2018;40:1; http://bit.ly/2Pc0ktQ.) The work of an EP is nitpicky, cumbersome at times, emotionally exhausting, litigious, and, frankly, hard. The merit badges we are required to maintain, including ACLS, PALS, and ATLS, an up-to-date flu vaccination, and endless hospital compliance modules, require an Excel spreadsheet to keep up. I will, however, take them any day over what our primary care colleagues have to carry: disability forms, insurance company fights, and preapproved MRIs, to name a few. My wife, who works in corporate America, has struggles that sometimes make ours seem far more tolerable.
I was told coming through the medical education pipeline that emergency medicine was a “young man's game” and that the average life cycle of an EP is 10 years. I am six years out of residency now. I still have not found an area of medicine that offers the equivalent intensity, diversity, and income while still affording a life outside of the hospital like emergency medicine does. After more than four days off, I get antsy, lose my sense of purpose, and start to crave that next ED shift. No, I have not reached my 10-year shelf life yet, but I still love the ED. For me, the benefit is still worth the cost. I cannot imagine quitting, maybe just cutting back clinical shifts.
Brock Helms, DO