Letter to the Editor
The excellent letter by Geoffrey Ruben, MD, about the American Academy of Emergency Medicine being the self-proclaimed guardian of emergency medicine was a great read. (“AAEM's Concerns about APPs Are Unfounded,” EMN. 2019;41:31; http://bit.ly/2XuK5j2.)
AAEM and other academic leaders helped make emergency medicine in the United States into one of the most sought-after specialties, but many of these leaders are specialty-centric, not patient-centric. Because emergency medicine is now a recognized specialty around the globe, with many international emergency medicine programs that are built on a primary care foundation, it's time for us to leave behind our adolescent fears and turf wars.
I described in a recent article that the history of turf wars in emergency medicine dates back to the beginning of our specialty and has led to a game of chess in which emergency medicine has controlled the board. (J Am Board Fam Med. 2019;32:292.) We have arrived at a stalemate. Collaboration, not competition, is needed to solve workforce issues and improve patient care.
Maybe it's time for AAEM and academic EM to take the lead to develop more evidence-based models for the EM workforce.
W. Anthony Gerard, MD