“8-month old cardiac arrest. ETA 10 minutes.”

Of all the cases we see, a pediatric SIDS death is without question the most difficult to bear. I recently cared for a child who a few hours earlier was a happy and playful infant and now arrived in cardiac arrest, pale and lifeless. Despite our usual resuscitative efforts, the child did not survive. In reality, when the medics were called out the child was likely already gone. More...

A few weeks ago, we received a letter from a patient who had recently been treated at one of our integrated acute care locations at Somerset Hospital. The patient had come to the emergency department and was ultimately admitted to the hospital. The letter detailed how grateful he was that the same physician assistant who had seen him in the ED also treated him in the hospital. The patient didn’t have to tell his story over again to a new provider once he’d been admitted, and there was no confusion about any of the care he’d just received. Handoffs, which normally occur between different groups, one in the ED and the other on the hospitalist side, have gone from riddled with delay and prone to communication breakdown, to smooth and uneventful. More...

Four years ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. We had graduated residency the same year and our careers had taken us to different parts of the country. It was ACEP 2012. We’d been mingling with old friends and current colleagues, and the conversation turned to kids. More...

When I began my career some 25 years ago, my measure of success was pretty simple: take better care of my patients. The average emergency medicine clinician will treat 75,000 patients over a 25-year career. That’s a staggering number of lives to touch.
 
At some point early in my career, I realized there were different ways to serve patients. For me, it began as helping to establish a pediatric emergency department where none existed. So instead of impacting 3,000 patients a year, I’ve helped influence the care of over 15,000 children by building a better system of care at one hospital. More...

Emergency physicians know well the realities of evidence-based guidelines in emergency departments throughout the country: either there is wide variability in their use and uptake, or there just aren’t any evidence-based guidelines.

Patients don’t often think about it when choosing emergency departments - they mostly think about the wait time - but it’s there. Two patients, each with the same complaints and same risk factors may get completely different treatments depending on which emergency department they walk into. More...

When is peak recruiting season for emergency medicine residents? It depends. Everyone knows about when it starts and roughly when it ends. The first residents to sign usually do so in the summer, and the last are usually picking up the rear sometime in January (on the East Coast, that is).
 
But it's that start of the season that changes from year to year. Sometimes it starts early, with a rush of residents signing in June and July. Sometimes, though, it all seems to start a little later, with the rush coming in September. More...

I've been an attending physician in emergency medicine in or around our nation’s capital for the last 16 years. Throughout my career as an African American woman, whether in academia or in leadership meetings, I have often been the only one. I've been the only woman often and even more frequently the only African-American.

It would be overstating to say that this has been ideal or always comfortable. I’ve gotten quite used to it, actually, and have followed my passions in emergency medicine and life generally in ways such that being the only has become mostly background noise as I go through my day. More...

On January 1st of this year, MEP Health became a founding partner in US Acute Care Solutions. Four months later, one thing is abundantly clear, if it wasn’t already: if you’re not comfortable with change, you’re probably working in the wrong industry. Some might say you’re living in the wrong century.

Our decision to help form a new, national acute care company took some by surprise. And, it raised the question of whether we had acted out of short term interests, rather than getting ahead of long-term industry trends. More...

A new generation of female physicians is reshaping perceptions of our profession: what it takes to succeed, and therefore what sorts of skills, temperaments, and character types belong in our field. The changing demographics of emergency medicine physicians begs a consequential question: should female emergency physicians embrace their femininity on the job?

There is the nascent #ILookLikeaSurgeon campaign that started on Twitter and grew to its own domain aimed at breaking down the stereotype that surgeons are all of the Caucasian, male, alpha-types of old. What will the equivalent movement be for emergency medicine? And what obligation do female EM residents and attendings have to represent our profession on the job and when we negotiate for new jobs? More...

Over the last decade, I’ve studied, trained and practiced my craft in the emergency department, dedicated to doing my best for each patient. In that time, I’ve also realized that while I am a part of the medical care system, I am not actually part of a health care system. While my goal is to give my patients the best chance to be healthy, the system and science in which my practice is rooted seem too content to manage disease, watching it wax and wane. I find this unacceptable. I’ve watched from the inside as health care has struggled to live up to its name, despite our successes. More...