EM Docs has gone global. Our 10,800-plus members are teaching and learning from other physicians practicing emergency medicine in some areas with extremely limited resources. We have quite an international reach! Our members are living and practicing on every continent (except Antarctica). We are represented in North America in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada; in South America in Chile and Honduras; in Africa in Egypt; in Asia in India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Singapore; in Australia in Australia and New Zealand; and in Europe in Sweden, United Kingdom, and Norway, among others.
We Are EMPOWR’d
We are empowered by other EM Docs. Practicing emergency medicine is hard. It has always been and will always be hard—that is the reason most of us chose it! We have disruptions to our sleep with odd shift times. We sometimes see people at their worst as they yell and blame and call names. We finish a code, deliver terrible news to a family, and walk into the next room with a plastic smile and the lingering knowledge of what just happened. We cover the “code brown” after the disimpactions with deodorizers and cover our heartaches after we lose the ones who came in too late. We compartmentalize our lives so we can function inside and outside the emergency department. Occasionally, we realize our family member is saying, “Are you listening?” as our mind drifts to the 15-year-old with a gunshot wound. We work with empty stomachs and full bladders. We drive home with the images of broken anatomy and aching souls. How do we answer our families when they ask, “How was your shift?” We titrate our own emotions to a professional level and manage our own frustrations despite the fact that we are human. To deal with the unrealistic expectations on us, some use sarcasm and dark humor or alcohol. Many of us exercise and get outdoors! EM Docs tend to have an amazing sense of adventure and love for extreme sports.
We empower each other. We understand each other like no one can. We speak the same language and share the same culture of caring like a tribe. We have always been the safety net for our communities. Now EM Docs are the safety net for their colleagues. Working a holiday or a nightshift seems a little more bearable when we know so many of our colleagues are also out there doing the same. On EM Docs, we have a night shift/holiday shift “roll call” to identify colleagues working that shift, and we share favorite songs that we play on the way in to a shift or that we sing in our minds when we walk into a shift or when the “brown stuff” hits the fan. “Welcome to the Jungle” seems to be a favorite, along with “I Gotta Feeling,” “Highway to Hell,” and “Crazy Train.”