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Letter to the Editor

It's Time to Leave Behind EM Turf Wars

doi: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000578676.71497.5d
Letter to the Editor

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[6]: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[3]: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

Palmyra, PA

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