Saturday, June 30, 2007

$25 a year for national representation and professional membership?

Maryn McKenna's recent article in Annals of Emergency Medicine, really sums up what is happening to re-shape the paradigm on who should be practising emergency medicine. Please read it and then decide whether you should be part of any organization, or if you are, whether that organization is truly representative of you.

Which organization should you join? Should you even join any? There are some questions worth asking.

Does an emergency physician who has been practising for over 20 years, but who, by some twist of dates was denied eligibility to take his ABEM, deserve to lose his job?

Do emergency physicians work solo, or are we in a TEAM with emergency nurses and paramedics?

Does experience count for anything? Is it better to be treated by a family physician or internist, who's been putting in chest tubes and handling arrests and trauma for decades, or a new EM residency graduate, who has been 'doing it' for a year or so? Who would you want treating your family members?

With challenges in America over the issue of access to emergency care, do we need better and fairer recognition of emergency physicians or do we need to make the tent smaller, and thus deny care to even more of the 60 million uninsured American citizens?

Think about these questions.

Then think about why you even want to be part of a professional organization. Is it for a merit badge? Something to put on your resume? A means to access the legislators? A forum to interact with other emergency care professionals, not just physicians? A medium for accessing continuing medical education?

USAEM costs just $25/year.
Find out for yourself, just how much the others cost, and judge whether they are really worth it.

In the meantime, have a great weekend and a Happy 4th of July!

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