Family Medicine Physicians Discuss “Protecting Emergency Department Positions”

From the AAFP:

Gerald Banks, M.D., M.S., of Corpus Christi, Texas, a member of the IMG constituency, introduced a resolution regarding ER physicians. Banks, who also chairs the AAFP member interest group on emergency medicine/urgent care, testified that family physicians are losing their jobs.

“There’s been a pervasive workforce issue where family doctors who’ve been practicing emergency medicine and urgent care have been getting displaced from their jobs and replaced by new ER grads,” said Banks.

“Family docs who’ve been working in emergency rooms for 10-15 years have been private-messaging me saying, ‘What’s going on? I just lost my job to a recently graduated ER resident. Can you help us? What can we do?'”

Banks referred to the AAFP’s policy on privileging, which states that physicians should be granted clinical privileges based on training and competency rather than board certification. Banks argued for “a little more teeth” in addition to that policy and urged the AAFP to create a sample legal opinion on the issue “so we can cement our status as broad-scope-of-practice physicians.”

Christopher Buelvas, M.D., M.B.A., M.H.A., an IMG delegate from Altamonte Springs, Fla., co-authored the resolution. “I work in a city where I’m not allowed to work in the emergency department because I’m a family medicine physician — although I was trained and spent extensive time in the emergency department,” he told the reference committee. He called for the AAFP to “take a stand” against those who oppose family physicians in the ER.

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