This was successfully posted to your pofile.
This box will close automatically in a few seconds. Close this window
We don't have an e-mail address on file for you. To use AAFP Connection, you must have an e-mail address in our records. Click Here
Special Interest Group in Emergency Medicine to Launch at Assembly
Organizers to Allow for Remote Participation
By Barbara Bein
"It is important to have a group for our physician members who practice emergency medicine so they can have a voice and discuss issues that they face daily," said Kim Yu, M.D., of Novi, Mich., one of the organizers of the special interest group meeting. "They face prejudice, discrepancies in pay and an uncertain future."
FPs as Emergency Docs Is Nothing New
Since that time, the AAFP Congress has revisited the issue multiple times, adopting policies that emphasize FPs' qualifications to practice in this capacity.
In addition, the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Emergency Medicine jointly developed guidelines for a combined family medicine-emergency medicine residency training program. In 2007, Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Del., launched the first such combined program in the country and is scheduled to graduate its first dually board-eligible resident in 2012.
The issue resurfaced during the 2009 National Conference of Special Constituencies, when delegates directed the AAFP to advocate to various organizations that board-certified family physicians are qualified to staff emergency rooms, or ERs.
Subsequently, the AAFP Congress called for the Academy to establish a subcommittee on emergency medicine and develop a workforce plan focused on FPs who practice emergency medicine.
Most recently, the AAFP Board of Directors decided in April to establish a special interest group tasked with crafting a workforce statement that might be included as an amendment to the Academy's current workforce policy.
- provide input for this new representative component of the Academy's governance structure;
- discuss the group's mission and goals;
- network with like-minded family physicians; and
- share their thoughts about family medicine's influence on the nation's emergency medicine workforce.
The new group debuts at a time when the number of residency-trained and board-certified emergency medicine physicians is, according to recent research, nowhere near the number required to care for the nation's emergency medical care needs in the coming years, especially in rural areas.
"Despite many emergency medicine-trained and -boarded physicians being churned out by emergency medicine residencies, the number of board-certified emergency medicine trained physicians still falls far from the number of emergency room physicians that will be needed in this country," Yu said.
"The issue of whether new physicians and our residency graduates will be able to work in emergency medicine is vital to the health of many communities throughout this country who rely on FPs to provide care in their ER," she added.
Study Suggests Family Physicians Can Help Stem Future ER Staffing Shortfall
FPs Well-Prepared to Practice Emergency Medicine in Most Settings
More From AAFP
Position Paper: Critical Challenges for Family Medicine: Delivering Emergency Medical Care -- "Equipping Family Physicians for the 21st Century"
Position Statement: Emergency Department Call for Family Physicians
Policy on Workforce Reform