Emergency Medicine As A Career

There are more than 32,000 practicing emergency physicians. Over 21,000 of these are certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). The demand for board certified emergency physicians is greater than the current supply. There are over 114 million emergency department visits in nearly 5000 hospitals across the country each year.

Resuscitation and stabilization of patients is the emergency physician’s primary duty. The emergency physician is also responsible for ensuring that all life-threatening causes of a patient’s condition are considered. If it is determined that all life-threatening causes for the patient’s condition cannot be ruled out, the emergency physician is then responsible for ensuring that the patient is admitted to the appropriate facility for evaluation.

The emergency physician must be able to recognize, stabilize and evaluate a sick patient quickly and efficiently to reach a tentative diagnosis. A quick mind and decisive nature is required for these tasks. Other traits required include; knowledge and interest in the breadth of medicine, manual dexterity, deductive ability, physical diagnostic skills and nerves of steel. It is essential that an emergency physician have excellent communications skills. The need to establish rapport in a short period of time under stressful circumstances arises frequently. A cooperative attitude is also essential; an emergency physician’s success depends on effectively working as part of a team with members of the emergency department as well as physicians in other specialties.

A career in emergency medicine has benefits and limitations. A student who is considering specializing in emergency medicine needs to be aware of and willing to accept these. An emergency physician must be able to adjust to an unpredictable variety of patients and an ever-changing work pace. Emergency medicine is one of very few medical specialties where the reward of stabilizing a critically ill patient can be experienced.

Workplace Settings

Most emergency physicians practice in a community setting where they encounter a broad spectrum of patients with a wide range of complaints including minor colds, vehicle accidents, abuse, assault, poisoning and heart attacks. A large segment of society’s indigent and uninsured patients are cared for in inner-city hospital’s emergency departments. In smaller, more rural hospitals, the emergency department often serves as the community’s only resource for emergency and primary care. In this situation, the emergency physician may become prominent and well known in the community.

The Job Market

Currently, there is a shortage of board-certified emergency physicians. This shortage is expected to last at least through the year 2030. A recent survey shows that there were over 30% fewer residents graduating annually than needed to fill available emergency medical positions. Emergency medical residents have little problems finding employment. The type of practice and setting dictate salaries and benefits. The median annual salary for an emergency physician was $229,000 in 2003. The full range of salaries stretches between the low $100,000′s to more than $300,000. The majority of positions offer at least some basic benefits. These may include; paid malpractice insurance premiums, life insurance, retirement plans, pension plans and continued education. There are many employment situations and contractual arrangements available for an emergency physician to choose from. These include; a partnership in a group of emergency physicians, an independent contractor or a salaried employee of a hospital, academic institution or health maintenance organization. New graduates may also set up a new practice with relatively low overhead. This allows them to begin earning competitive incomes right away.

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Ever Heard Of A Volcanologist? (and Other Science Careers)

If you have decided that you want a career in science but are not sure which field to choose then you should look at all available options to see which most interests you. There are literally hundreds of scientific fields and many of these have a shortage of specialists. With that said, if you can commit yourself to a particular science career then you are likely to have a career for life. Science careers are rewarding and can be well paid.

So what sort of science careers are there? Some to consider include:

- Ecologist: Studies of nature and ecology
- Astronomy: Study of space
- Biologist: Study of living things
- Volcanologist: Study of volcanoes [a branch of geology]
- Engineer: Can take many forms in many different sectors. Generally to do with designing structures
- Science Teacher: Person who teaches science at school, college or university
- Geologist: Study of rocks, minerals and Earth processes
- Computer Scientist: Study advanced computer technology like virtual reality and robots
- Physicist: Study of the forces of the universe
- Chemist: Either a lab technician or a pharmacist
- Zoologist: Study of animals in captivity
- Medicine: Study of human health
- Archaeologist: Study of past civilizations, fossils and other ancient objects

The above are just a few of the hundreds of possible careers in science. Medicine is also considered a science and as such, becoming a doctor also involves studying science, particularly biology and chemistry. The earth sciences like geology, archaeology and volcanology are extremely exciting fields that are always moving forward fast. They can also provide qualified people with the chance to travel to the world to study scenarios the world over.

To become a qualified scientist in any field you must undertake a bachelor’s degree in the field of your choice. Many scientists then choose to take on post graduate study to further their knowledge and to specialize in a sub-niche of their chosen sector of the scientific field. Many opt to undertake a doctorate and become a professor however this is usually only after many years are spent in the field.

Whichever science career you choose, make sure it is one you are passionate about and feel you can undertake forever. Because many scientific careers blend into one another, it is possible to change fields throughout your career and shift to a related scientific career. Without a doubt science careers are very satisfying, challenging and rewarding.

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