Part of ACEP’s power as an advocate for emergency medicine comes from the strength and cooperation of its leaders. Last month, we interviewed ACEP President Jay A. Kaplan, MD, FACEP, about the challenges and opportunities ahead for emergency medicine. This month, Rebecca Parker, MD, FACEP, who was elected ACEP President-Elect in October 2015, shares her views on the key issues facing emergency medicine with ACEP Now Medical Editor-in-Chief Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP.
Explore This IssueACEP Now: Vol 35 – No 04 – April 2016
KK: What do you think are the greatest challenges facing emergency physicians today?
RP: I think there are a couple of things. One is the implementation of PPACA, also known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and how that is going to impact emergency medicine. I think the ACA is also an opportunity for us to look at our current practice setting and where the opportunities are to improve it. I think that’s the second challenge for us. It’s harder and harder every day to be in the emergency department, and we are faced with fights and battles every single day. How can we use the challenge of the ACA as an opportunity to make our daily lives more enjoyable? It goes back to the joy of the practice instead of feeling like we’re in a battle every day we go to work.
KK: What are your top goals for your presidency?
RP: My Council speech included two goals. The first one was to focus on emergency medicine becoming the nucleus of the acute care continuum. This includes continuing the work of the quality registry that has been started with the Clinical Emergency Data Registry; looking at how we can get financial data together to fight payers and their bad behavior, including how the insurance companies have been attacking us; looking at workforce issues; and looking at what a “physician-led team” means. Further on workforce, we’re looking at graduate medical education and really being aggressive on that front. Graduates are starting to not have residency slots, and that is not acceptable. Finally, we’re looking at wellness. We need to take care of ourselves. With the number of suicides we hear about and the number of people that have had tremendous pain in their lives, we need to support each other, value each member, and help people in their wellness journey.
The second piece of the puzzle is diversity. We’re really more diverse than we’ve ever been. What does diversity mean from generational, gender, race, religion, LGBT, and geography standpoints? We need to pause, step back, and say, “How can we best support all of those different kinds of people?” We are hosting a diversity summit on April 14 to kick this off. We’ve invited about 20 emergency physicians from all different walks of life, many of whom have studied this or published on the topic within their vantage point. I think this is an opportunity for emergency medicine to lead the entire field and house of medicine.