Last month’s editorial by Dr. Rick Bukata re-ignited the debate over the role of board certification in emergency medicine. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) position has not changed in our 21 years of existence — you must be board certified to become a full-voting member and fellow of AAEM — period. AAEM has no control over how other EM organizations classify their members. However, we feel a call for other organizations to open their membership up to non-board-certified physicians is a step in the wrong direction. Since AAEM’s inception, supporting the value of board certification has always be a core part of our mission.
The optimism of those emergency physicians who have supported the expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act is built on the assumption that ‘some pay’ is better than ‘no pay’. And, of course, if it were that simple, they would be correct. But I would humbly submit that we need to take the problem apart a little more to see the details before drawing such conclusions.
If emergency physicians are going to have a chance at influencing
healthcare policy in Washington, they’re going to need to get serious
about organizing and fundraising.
We have always been clinicians, but modern emergency physicians have also become the most skilled managers in the healthcare system. It’s time we capitalize on those talents and proactively learn from the management industry.
In talking with physicians from all over the country, I have found that
most say that charting via an electronic medical record system is the
invention of the devil. Only rarely will an emergency physician say that
they go faster with an EMR than with what they were charting with
previously. And whenever I hear a physician assert this, I generally
wonder how efficient they were in the first place.