While there is no such thing as a “typical day” for emergency medicine physicians, the pace is always fast and the pressure is always high. A single shift could include treating a child for abdominal pain, evaluating an elderly person’s mental state, managing a car accident, and a mix of other routine and critical cases. Emergency medicine physicians must be able to provide urgent care for a variety of patients with a variety of problems. While exciting, a career in emergency medicine comes with a set of unique demands that are not for everyone.
Here’s what makes top emergency physicians stand out from their peers:
Quick Decision Makers
Unlike many other specialties, emergency medicine calls for rapid decision-making, prioritizing and the ability to switch gears quickly to treat patients of all ages and conditions. High-volume EDs require physicians to identify critical issues while determining other existing health problems—even when a patient arrives unconscious, and often without the benefit of a patient history or time-consuming tests.
Calm Under Pressure
The essence of any emergency is that it’s unplanned. Top-performing emergency medicine physicians are able to tune out distractions and handle situations that can get intensely stressful. When lives are on the line, they remain collected, take action with confidence, and can give and follow directions effectively.
Excellent Interpersonal Skills
In addition to working well with others in fast-paced, high-pressure scenarios, emergency medicine physicians must be prepared to encounter patients who have had unimaginable experiences. Compassion and warmth along with appropriate bedside manner are critical, as well as the ability to break bad news.
Physicians in emergency medicine see it all. The ones that stand apart stay composed and can be counted on, no matter the situation. Sound like you? Check out our latest emergency medicine job postings for top emergency medicine physicians.