For decades, the concepts of democracy and democratic group practice have been held as the standard to strive for in emergency medicine. As democracy is akin to motherhood and apple pie, these concepts are accepted today, perhaps, just as they were decades ago. However, with the evolving landscape of health care, is it time to revisit these concepts? Is democracy a group structure or an ideal? Democracy can provide an opportunity to participate in group decisions and control one’s own destiny (to a certain extent), but democracy means that, on occasion, you may not get what you want if you are in the minority. Is democracy truly what emergency physicians want, or has fair and equitable treatment become the practical definition of “democracy”? In this three-part series, EM leaders from different walks of life will weigh in on the following questions. Read Part 2.
—Kevin M. Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP
Ricardo Martinez, MD, FACEP, chief medical officer for North Highland Worldwide Consulting and assistant professor of emergency medicine at Emory University in Atlanta