If you are ready to practice in hospital emergency departments, you can look forward to making a career in Emergency Medicine. But the first questions is : What is Emergency Medicine? Well, the vision that the medical students and their colleague actually have about Emergency Medicine is quite limited. One should have a broader vision of what Emergency Medicine actually is. It is actually a medical specialty which deals with patients who suffer from acute illnesses and injuries and need to stabilized immediately. Since patients need immediate attention, Emergency Medicine (EM) trained physicians are prepared to emergency situations.
The field of Emergency Medicine doesn’t, therefore, deal with long term treatment of patients. As EM trained physicians, practitioners are required to diagnose emergency conditions of patients and stabilize or provide them relief instantly. Most of the Emergency Medicine physicians have to spend long hours in the emergency rooms of the hospitals they work in. These physicians can provide treatment to patients in hospital emergency departments, via emergency medical services, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or other places or departments where initial medical treatment is provided to patients suffering from acute illnesses.
The International Federation of Emergency Medicine defines this medical specialty in the following words :
“Emergency medicine is a medical specialty—a field of practice based on the knowledge and skills required for the prevention, diagnosis and management of acute and urgent aspects of illness and injury affecting patients of all age groups with a full spectrum of undifferentiated physical and behavioral disorders. It further encompasses an understanding of the development of pre-hospital and in-hospital emergency medical systems and the skills necessary for this development.”
Hope the definition makes it clear about what Emergency Medicine is.
Fellowships in Emergency Medicine (EM)
The whole idea of becoming an EM physicians is associated with fellowships programs. Emergency Medicine graduates can opt for a number of fellowship programs in Emergency Medicine including prehospital medicine, research, toxicology, sports medicine, ultrasound, pediatric emergency medicine and hyperbaric medicine.
The United Kingdom (UK) provides medical trainees the facilities of going for a training program after completion of their five years of medical school and two years of foundation program. The three-year-long program provides training in acute medicine, intensive care, emergency medicine, and musculo-skeletal emergency medicine. Next, the medical students have to get through the Membership of the College of Emergency Medicine Examination. Further a 3-year-long training program continues. Finally, after passing the FCEM, the doctors are eligible to apply for the post of Emergency Medicine Consultant.
So, this is was just a brief intro to the question : ‘What is Emergency Medicine?’. Later, we will discuss about the diverse career opportunities in the field of Emergency Medicine.