Why do medical students favour emergency medicine experience?

Why do medical students favour emergency medicine experience?

Emergency Medicine is a challenging and fast-paced speciality that is often considered one of the most popular clerkships among medical students. The appeal of emergency medicine stems from its dynamic nature, which requires medical students to be versatile, adaptable and able to make quick decisions.

One of the primary reasons that medical students like emergency medicine is the opportunity to learn the care for a wide range of patients. In the emergency department, medical students are exposed to a diverse patient population that includes individuals with acute illnesses and injuries, as well as those with chronic conditions that have taken a turn for the worse. This exposure to a wide range of patients allows medical students to develop a broad knowledge base and gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of medical care.

Another factor that attracts medical students to emergency medicine is the fast-paced environment. The emergency department is often the first point of contact for patients experiencing an acute illness or injury, and medical students must be able to assess, diagnose, and treat patients quickly. In addition, this challenging and fast-paced environment helps medical students to develop strong critical thinking and decision-making skills, which are essential for success in any medical speciality.

In addition to the opportunities for hands-on patient care, emergency medicine also provides medical students with the opportunity to work closely with other healthcare professionals. In the emergency department, medical students interact with nurses, paramedics, radiologists, and other specialists and learn to provide comprehensive care to patients. This interdisciplinary approach to care allows medical students to gain a deeper understanding of the role of each healthcare professional and to develop strong collaborative skills.

Emergency medicine is also a highly rewarding speciality for medical students, as it provides the opportunity to make a significant impact on a patient’s health in a short amount of time. Whether being in a team stabilizing a critically ill patient, providing pain relief, or simply offering emotional support, medical students in the emergency department have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of patients.

Finally, the training and education opportunities available in emergency medicine are another reason why medical students often favour this clerkship. Emergency medicine residency programs, with a robust training structure, are designed to provide medical students with extensive exposure to the most challenging cases and to provide a strong foundation in critical thinking and decision-making skills. Additionally, emergency medicine residency programs often offer a variety of elective rotations, which allow medical students to tailor their training to their specific interests and career goals.

In conclusion, emergency medicine is a popular clerkship among medical students for many reasons. From the fast-paced and challenging environment to the opportunities for hands-on patient care and interdisciplinary collaboration to the training and education opportunities available, emergency medicine provides medical students with a well-rounded and rewarding clerkship experience. Whether they go on to specialize in emergency medicine or another medical speciality, the skills, knowledge and experience gained in the emergency department will serve medical students well throughout their careers.

Further Reading

  • Pianosi K, Stewart SA, Hurley K. Medical Students’ Perceptions of Emergency Medicine Careers. Cureus. 2017 Aug 24;9(8):e1608. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1608. PMID: 29075586; PMCID: PMC5655118.
  • Langlo NM, Orvik AB, Dale J, Uleberg O, Bjørnsen LP. The acute sick and injured patients: an overview of the emergency department patient population at a Norwegian University Hospital Emergency Department. Eur J Emerg Med. 2014 Jun;21(3):175-80. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283629c18. PMID: 23680865.
  • Ray JC, Hopson LR, Peterson W, Santen SA, Khandelwal S, Gallahue FE, White M, Burkhardt JC. Choosing emergency medicine: Influences on medical students’ choice of emergency medicine. PLoS One. 2018 May 9;13(5):e0196639. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196639. PMID: 29742116; PMCID: PMC5942813.
  • Benner P, Hughes RG, Sutphen M. Clinical Reasoning, Decisionmaking, and Action: Thinking Critically and Clinically. In: Hughes RG, editor. Patient Safety and Quality: An Evidence-Based Handbook for Nurses. Rockville (MD): Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US); 2008 Apr. Chapter 6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2643/

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Arif Alper Cevik, MD, FEMAT, FIFEM

Arif Alper Cevik, MD, FEMAT, FIFEM

Prof Cevik is an Emergency Medicine academician at United Arab Emirates University, interested in international emergency medicine, emergency medicine education, medical education, point of care ultrasound and trauma. He is the founder and director of the International Emergency Medicine Education Project – iem-student.org, vice-chair of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine (IFEM) core curriculum and education committee and board member of the Asian Society for Emergency Medicine and Emirati Board of Emergency Medicine.

Cite this article as: iEM Education Project Team, "Why do medical students favour emergency medicine experience?," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, February 8, 2023, https://iem-student.org/2023/02/08/why-do-medical-students-favour-emergency-medicine-experience/, date accessed: October 1, 2023

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