Most physicians find employment in some type of clinical or lab setting, depending on their specialty, and specializing in emergency medicine opens you up to many unique settings where you can find employment. Emergency medicine requires both immediate decision-making and action to prevent a worsened condition and even death, but the skills and expertise used in emergency medicine can also translate to other specialties of medicine. Here’s a look at some of the medical settings where you can find employment as an emergency medicine physician.
As the name suggests, you’ll most likely find employment in a hospital— specifically in the emergency room. The emergency room of a hospital is one of the most critical departments because patients here are stabilized, treated, and released/transferred to another part of the hospital for further treatment or monitoring. If you enjoy fast-paced work and a job where every day is different, then you’ll want to find employment in a hospital as an emergency medicine physician. You’ll also be able to treat patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly.
Some areas of specialization include:
- Pediatric emergency medicine
- Neurocritical care
- Medical toxicology
- Intensive care/critical care medicine
Another part of the hospital you’ll likely be working in from time to time would be the intensive care unit (ICU). Many patients are often transferred from the emergency room into the ICU and will require further care and monitoring. This is another fast-paced environment (though not as much as the emergency room), but it’s also likely that you’ll be working in both of these parts of a hospital. Overall, you’re likely to be constantly on the go and will never have a dull moment if you choose to find employment in a hospital.
Hospice Care Centers
Hospice care, also known as end-of-life care, is care that focuses on the comfort of terminally ill patients. Contrary to emergency rooms where doctors try to save patients’ lives, hospice care focuses on making the end stages of a disease or illness as pain-free and as comfortable as possible. Patients only enter into hospice care when it has been determined that their condition can not be cured.
As an emergency medicine physician, you may not find employment in a hospice care center specifically, but you will work closely with the other healthcare professionals in a hospice care setting. Your job will be to provide palliative care and medicine to relieve the suffering some patients may be experiencing.
Urgent Care Centers
Urgent care centers are known as the bridge between the emergency room (where people go when they’re experiencing life-threatening conditions) and a primary care physician (where people go for regular wellness checks). People visiting urgent care centers may need immediate care for non-life-threatening conditions— conditions that can’t wait to be treated by their primary care physician. Your training in emergency medicine translates perfectly to treating patients visiting urgent care because you’ll treat conditions such as:
- Urinary tract infections
- Upper respiratory infections
- Skin rashes
- Minor sprains and strains
- Fever/flu symptoms
Many urgent care centers will hire emergency medicine physicians because they know how to access patients’ conditions to determine the best course of action. This isn’t as fast-paced as working in a hospital, but each day at an urgent care center is also different from the last.
As with other specialties of medicine emergency medicine physicians can subspecialize in another area of medicine and therefore, find employment in specialty centers. Some examples of these subspecialties include:
- Undersea and hyperbaric medicine
- Sports medicine
- Pain medicine
Specializing in undersea and hyperbaric means that you’ll be treating patients who have been injured when diving, experienced carbon monoxide poisoning, have had tissue damage from radiation, and many other conditions. Specializing in sports medicine means that you’ll be treating athletes while specializing in pain medicine means you’ll be treating many types of patients experiencing both chronic and acute pain. It’s possible to become employed by a hospital when specializing in either of these areas, but they also have separate facilities.
There are many different types of medical facilities where you can work as an emergency medicine physician. It all depends on if you have a specialty and the type of work environment you’d prefer. Many emergency medicine physicians can become burned out from the fast-paced environment of a hospital, so switching to urgent care can be a good option— especially since more and more urgent care centers are coming about.
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