Because emergency medicine is a recognized specialty, many hospital leaders assume that their emergency departments should be staffed by physicians who are residency trained in emergency medicine. Such residency training and board certification helps leaders feel assured that the physicians have achieved a certain standard.
However, there is a shortage of EM residency-trained physicians, a situation that requires a re-thinking of the ideal staff for EDs.
Fortunately, there are many fully competent emergency physicians who are not EM residency-trained. Many emergency physicians who originally trained in other specialties have been in practice for decades and are highly experienced and skilled. In fact, for rural and community hospitals, a family medicine-trained physician may be the ideal staff member or leader for the ED.
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