AUC welcomed Michael Carius, MD, FACEP, president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) and past-president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to campus earlier this semester. After touring AUC with Dr. Julie Taylor, Senior Associate Dean of Clinical Sciences, Dr. Carius joined the Emergency Medicine Specialty Interest Group (EMSIG) for an hour-long guest lecture on the history of the emergency medicine.
His career, which has spanned more than 30 years and included leadership positions at preeminent emergency medicine organizations and departments, provided students with a unique perspective on emergency medicine and the significant advances giving rise to the specialty today.
There are roughly 42,000 emergency physicians in the profession and that number is climbing as emergency departments increase in quantity and size. According to an annual census of U.S. emergency departments, there are 140 million ER visits a year. That number has steadily increased by 2.5-3% a year.
For students considering a career in emergency medicine, Dr. Carius spent considerable time talking about the residency application process and how to best position yourself for the Match. There are 188 allopathic emergency medicine residency programs in the US that graduate nearly 2,000 residents a year. And at present, there roughly 42,000 emergency medicine professionals in the field—a number that continues to climb as emergency departments grow in quantity and size.
According to the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, there are more than 130.4 million emergency department visits a year. That number has steadily increased by 2.5-3% annually.
During his presentation, Dr. Carius highlighted three things in particular that clinical students can do now to get an edge for residency:
Study hard and do well. It’s obvious but it’s a necessary step in the means to an end. You want a track record that makes you look good when you’re being compared to all of the other students out there.
Do an emergency department rotation early on in your clinical years. You want to become familiar with the ER department (chairs, program directors, charge nurse, etc.) and build an ongoing relationship that will get you a good letter of recommendation.
When you’re in that rotation, doing everything that you can do to stand out and develop a good reputation. Show up early, hand around after your shift, volunteer, and make friends with the nurses.
Consider joining the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), which is an organization of nearly 15,000 members dedicated solely to emergency medicine physicians-in-training. The group has created several programs and resources for medical students to help them understand what emergency medicine training is all about. Annual dues for medical students run just $55 and automatically gets you a membership to ACEP.
Do your research on emergency medicine residency programs. There aren’t really any bad ones but look at each program’s unique opportunities. From ABEM’s perspective, three and four year programs are comparable. They do not, however, recommend doing an internal or family medicine residency followed by an emergency medicine fellowship.
Throughout the presentation, Dr. Carius touched on the ways in which emergency medicine has enriched his life. The sense of accomplishment he feels after taking somebody’s pain away is by far the most rewarding. As a community physician in Connecticut, he is able to still see patients on a daily basis.
His parting message to AUC students was to look for ways to give back to the specialty. “That’s why I wanted to come and talk to you all and that’s why I do everything I do with ABEM and ACEP and all of the other professional societies. It’s my way of giving something back.”
"Dr. Carius shared with AUC students the immense satisfaction that comes with practicing Emergency Medicine,” said John Yeiser, Interim President of EMSIG. “He engaged, and encouraged us to pursue a specialty which did not exist 50 years ago. We were inspired to champion the advancement of Emergency Medicine and to give back to those following in our footsteps."
>> Listen to Dr. Carius’ full presentation on Echo360