Letter to the Editor: EM Is the Safety Net, Not the Catch-all : Emergency Medicine News

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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

EM Is the Safety Net, Not the Catch-all

Emergency Medicine News 45(3):p 6,8, March 2023. | DOI: 10.1097/01.EEM.0000922772.47351.b1

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    The discontent in our colleague's words in the article, “Why I'm Leaving Emergency Medicine,” saddened me. (EMN. 2022;44[11]:1; https://bit.ly/3NoiZS2.)

    I too am frustrated with emergency medicine, but given the overarching tone of this article, it is more than a discontent with EM but rather an overall discontent with our health care system and its bottom line.

    As the entry level to health care for many Americans, EM has turned into the catch-all instead of the safety net because, as our colleague so aptly identifies, the catch-all approach may better serve a bottom line.

    What is the solution? This is where I hope our colleague starts to focus efforts now that they will no longer be roaming downstairs. The answer is far from simple.

    COVID highlighted some things we all already knew: EPs are altruists, subject to calls of duty, and now, many are tired of being taken advantage of by the proverbial system.

    Until the system can shift into a model that truly offers healing, can we as individuals start to take a different approach? Can we focus on our own self-care a little bit more? Can we counsel patients on personal agency, reminding them that they do have control in their health care and that pills alone are not the answer?

    If the system is slow to change, then we can start to change it from within, even if the changes feel small at first. The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (https://lifestylemedicine.org) offers incredible resources on improving personal health and reinvigorating purpose. It has certainly reinvigorated my own personal approach.

    Raquel Harrison, MD

    Bridgeport, CT

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