Monday, 25 January 2010

Why Emergency Medicine?

Emergency medicine is really popular as a career choice. Mostly because a lot of medical students appear to have the misguided idea that A&E is all trauma and cardiac arrests and life saving.A proper adrenaline fuelled career. It might surprise you to know that medicine wasn't actually my first choice of career. I wanted to be a paramedic. I hate being in one place, I like the challenge of not knowing what I'm going to see next, and I've dealt with my fair share of drunk people whilst first aiding at concerts. That seemed my ideal career, however, I was encouraged to aim higher academically so I applied for medicine. By some miracle, I got two offers and accepted my place at UEA. By some other miracle, I then got the grades to actually start studying medicine.

So far we've studied rheumatology and orthopaedics, and haematology and dermatology. I loved orthopaedics but it involved far too much time in theatres for my liking. I found rheumatology and haematology very interesting but not practical enough. As for dermatology, I will say no more than Yuk. At the moment I'm about to start a cardiology placement, including vascular surgery and stroke medicine. I find cardiology highly interesting, but the long term management and surgery doesn't interest me as much as the immediate issues cardiac conditions can present. I like to live in the here and now and think on my feet.

So, in answer to the question, Why Emergency Medicine? Because I honestly can't see myself doing anything else. I love the thrill of not knowing what's coming next. I like management of simple conditions as well as complex cases. I like the here and now and  I like to see what I do making a visible difference to the patient if it's possible. I work well in a team, I'll happily pitch in with the mess and vomit and lifting and carrying, and I make a good round of cups of tea at the end of a busy shift. I guess I just can't see myself doing anything else and I really don't see that changing. I'm determined to get to where I want and to be good at it. 

Even if that means living in the library and having no social life for the next three and half years...


  1. You could argue that about being a GP, you dont know whats coming through the door next either. Personally I have a few ideas of what I want to do after/if I graduate but I just keep thinking whats the point of thinking about it to much when you could change your mind drastically in the next few years

  2. Thanks for the comment, and I agree about the variety GPs get, but I hate being stuck in an office or on the same ward or in theatres. I'm much more an out and about person.

    As for changing my mind, I've wanted to do emergency medicine for 4 years and I've not changed my mind yet!


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