I am humbled and thrilled to begin my year of service as your new EMRA president after being involved with EMRA for a few years — joining as an intern and becoming more active throughout my five-year residency in EM/IM.
I chose emergency medicine as my career because I was drawn to its fast pace, the breadth of the practice, and its role as the gate-keeper of medicine, providing an access point for patients to be brought into the health care system. In many ways we give our patients a voice within the system, serving as the intermediary between multiple specialties, stabilizing and resolving acute problems, and then deciding who is best suited for the continuum of care.
As an organization, EMRA serves as the voice of trainees in emergency medicine. It was founded in 1974, when emergency medicine was in its infancy. Now in our 41st year, we continue to grow, supporting and representing 13,000 members around the world. With roots anchored in evidence-based medicine and quality of care, emergency medicine itself has branched out as a specialty, growing every year and allowing us to weather the ever-changing medical landscape.
EMRA must follow suit, branching out to address needs as they arise. During my presidency, I want to strengthen our sense of community, enhance leadership development, and prioritize wellness – the wellness of each individual member, of the organization as a whole, and of the specialty as a profession.
Let’s start with the way we interact with our members and provide you with benefits. Over the next year we want to leverage technology to create an EMRA community that is dynamic and more responsive to your needs. We want to foster more member-to-member interaction and more involvement, which will in turn allow us to develop content more quickly and efficiently. We want to evaluate our strategy so we can feed the growth of the specialty.
Emergency medicine has developed substantially because of the strength of those leaders who formed the root of the emergency medicine tree. EMRA too, has been built upon individuals making time in their busy schedules to lead and foster the organization. We have entered a time of great change in the delivery of medicine in the U.S., and we need leaders who are ready to take the helm. To do this we must continue to get each of you involved. We are working to create opportunities for mentorship and to provide more leadership training avenues to help develop a pipeline of future leaders. We must also create an army of advocates to ensure that the shifting legislative landscape does not hurt our ability to provide the best care for our patients.
As we’ve all experienced, the stresses of getting into medical school, getting into residency, being a resident, and the subsequent practice of emergency medicine can be challenging. These struggles recently led 2 amazing young residents to choose suicide. That’s 2 too many; the wellness of medical students, residents, and fellows must be addressed. EMRA’s newly formed Wellness Committee will focus on wellness resources for individuals as well as residency programs. Before we can provide high-quality, compassionate care to our patients, we must first ensure we ourselves are healthy and stable. We must be vigilant as a community to look out for those around us and to understand the signs and symptoms of someone who is struggling. Let us make this a year in which we, as an EMRA community, strive to make both ourselves and our patients healthier.
The tree of emergency medicine was founded on the strong roots our predecessors planted, which have allowed it to grow by leaps and bounds. Every year a new residency class adds another ring to the ever-growing tree of emergency medicine. EMRA will continue to provide you with the resources you need to grow and for our specialty to continue to grow. We are only as strong as our membership, and I am excited for the next year and for the future of EMRA as a growing community.