Key recommendations for medical students interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine

Key recommendations for medical students interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine.

Emergency Medicine is a popular speciality among students, and residency programs are receiving an increased amount of applications year by year. However, high competition to get into the residency programs requires successful preparation for the speciality training. In addition, choosing this speciality as a future professional career may fit some individuals while it can not be suitable for others. 

Here are some recommendations to be prepared and understand whether emergency medicine is a good fit for you.

  1. Get involved in emergency medicine early: Try to find ways to get involved during medical school, such as volunteering at an emergency department or shadowing an emergency medicine physician. This will give you a better understanding of the field and help you determine if it is a good fit for you.
  2. Seek out opportunities to develop clinical skills: Emergency medicine is a highly clinical field, and you will need to be comfortable managing patients with a wide range of medical conditions. Participating in clinical rotations and other hands-on learning experiences can help you build your clinical skills and prepare you for a career in emergency medicine.
  3. Network with emergency medicine professionals: Building relationships with emergency medicine physicians and other healthcare professionals can help you learn about different career paths in the field and gain valuable insight into the daily challenges and rewards of working in emergency medicine.
  4. Stay up-to-date on the latest developments: Emergency medicine is a rapidly evolving field, and it is important to stay informed about the latest developments in patient care and medical technology. Attending conferences and workshops, reading professional journals, and participating in online communities can help you stay current.
  5. Consider a residency program: Many emergency medicine physicians complete a residency program in the field, which provides in-depth training and hands-on experience in emergency medicine. Consider applying to a residency program if you are serious about pursuing a career in emergency medicine.
  6. Focus on developing your interpersonal skills: Effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential for success in emergency medicine, as you will be working with patients, families, and other healthcare professionals in high-pressure situations. Make an effort to develop your interpersonal skills, and seek feedback from others on how you can improve.
  7. Stay passionate: Emergency medicine can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Make sure to stay passionate about your chosen field and continue to seek out opportunities for growth and learning.

Emergency medicine is a challenging but rewarding field that requires a strong foundation in clinical skills, a commitment to staying current with the latest developments, and excellent interpersonal skills. If you are passionate about helping patients in high-pressure situations and are willing to work hard to develop your skills, a career in emergency medicine may be a great fit for you.

Further Reading

  • Huang RD, Lutfy-Clayton L, Franzen D, Pelletier-Bui A, Gordon DC, Jarou Z, Cranford J, Hopson LR. More Is More: Drivers of the Increase in Emergency Medicine Residency Applications. West J Emerg Med. 2020 Dec 10;22(1):77-85. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2020.10.48210. PMID: 33439811; PMCID: PMC7806335.
  • Blackshaw AM, Watson SC, Bush JS. The Cost and Burden of the Residency Match in Emergency Medicine. West J Emerg Med. 2017 Jan;18(1):169-173. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2016.10.31277. Epub 2016 Dec 19. PMID: 28116032; PMCID: PMC5226755.
  • 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.
  • Alkhaneen H, Alhusain F, Alshahri K, Al Jerian N. Factors influencing medical students’ choice of emergency medicine as a career specialty-a descriptive study of Saudi medical students [published correction appears in Int J Emerg Med. 2018 Dec 17;11(1):56]. Int J Emerg Med. 2018;11(1):14. Published 2018 Mar 7. doi:10.1186/s12245-018-0174-y
  • Boyd JS, Clyne B, Reinert SE, Zink BJ. Emergency medicine career choice: a profile of factors and influences from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) graduation questionnaires. Acad Emerg Med. 2009;16(6):544-549. doi:10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00385.x

Related iEM Articles

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 –, 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, "Key recommendations for medical students interested in pursuing a career in emergency medicine," in International Emergency Medicine Education Project, February 15, 2023,, date accessed: October 1, 2023

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.