It appears that EM had a horrible match this year. Good. This is a good start. Hopefully half of the programs on that list will throw in the towel.
What do you think was the cause? The projections of oversupply and unemployment? Our replacement by NPs? COVID's negative effect on our workplace?
One need not look far. March's edition of Emergency Medicine News starts on the front page with the AHRQ report, which essentially labelled us incompetent murderers. (EMN. 2023;45:1; https://bit.ly/41yFpXC.) Turn two pages, and we are advised to “sue the CEO and board” when we get sued for bad outcomes beyond our control. (EMN. 2023;45:5; https://bit.ly/3ZsPF1N.)
Turn four more pages and read “A Portrait of the Average EP Post-Covid.” (EMN. 2023;45:1; https://bit.ly/3KJoI5F.) (Spoiler alert: It is not a better situation.) Then turn four more pages to read “The Kids Are Not All Right,” a nicely written piece about physicians exiting residency already burned out. (EMN. 2023;45:20; https://bit.ly/3J0uGho.) Turn one last page to see the lone job advertisement. EM is clearly not in its heyday.
These are indeed challenging times. I feel very lucky. I have felt supported by my hospital and my group. And, if nothing else, just know that we will have company from some other specialties who will be in our current predicament soon enough. Private equity-owned contract management groups will replace other specialties with ARNPs, CRNAs—whomever they can use—as they quietly and gleefully work to increase residencies, flooding the market with an oversupply of physicians.
Curt D. Meinecke, MD