Why Does EMRA Membership Matter?

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Hey there EMRA! This is my first letter to you as this year’s president, and I honestly could not be more excited to write it.

EMRA is an incredible organization. We are more than 14,000 members, including over 90% of all ACGME EM residents in the country. Over 90%! So when we say we represent the voice of EM residents, we absolutely mean it.

Why does that matter? Because there are all kinds of people out there making decisions that directly affect your training and your future clinical practice. For example:

  • The ACGME is changing how programs are accredited, especially for DOs as we move toward a single accreditation pathway.
  • ABEM is changing the board certification process, moving toward e-Oral boards and an online in-training exam for residents.
  • ACEP is constantly making decisions on which issues to focus their attention and developing clinical practice guidelines that represent the “standard” in EM.

And the list goes on and on.

In all of this, what YOU — our nation’s future EM physician workforce — think should matter. Your interests need to be represented and your perspectives need to be heard.

This is one of the crucial things EMRA does for you. We meet regularly with leaders of these and other organizations to discuss goals and priorities and make sure they’ve considered what that means for residents and medical students.

We’re Not All Talk

But EMRA does way more than just speak on your behalf. EMRA consistently provides tools for clinical improvement and fosters collaboration with motivated and talented residents and students across the country.

Seeing the work of our EMRA board members, committee and division leaders, and program representatives is inspiring and energizing. From educational products like the EMRA Antibiotic Guide and new critical dosing badge cards to national events like the EMRA Quiz Show and 20 in 6, our members accomplish things at the student and resident level that are unmatched by any other specialty.

Setting Priorities

Meeting and working with so many incredible leaders in EMRA has inspired me to set our board priorities for the year:

  1. We need to continue to develop our members as national leaders in EM. We are not only the leaders of the future; we are leaders now! In EMRA, in our departments, in our communities. This year EMRA will work to create more formalized and meaningful leadership development opportunities.
  2. We must expand the work we’re doing in physician wellness. We will continue collaborating with other organizations to develop a model wellness curriculum and brainstorm ways to shift our culture to one of more open dialogue about the sad, horrific, and stressful experiences each of us has on a daily basis.
  3. We will keep working to build community and improve our effectiveness and accessibility as an organization — utilizing technology like streaming video and social media to bring information to you in the way YOU communicate and learn.

I can promise you this board will continue to work tirelessly for you over the coming year, and I can’t wait to report back on their accomplishments.

But WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

In 1974, our founder, Joseph Waeckerle, wrote in the very first edition of EM Resident, “To do a decent job, I must know what you want… you must communicate with me. If we speak firmly and responsibly now, we will be much stronger in the future.”

The same is true today. We depend on YOU to tell us what you need. What do you think? What concerns you? What do you dream for the future of our specialty?

This year, I challenge you to tell us! You can email literally any of us at any time; all of our emails are on the EMRA website. We want to hear from you.

Better yet, get involved in EMRA and make the changes you want to see. Join a committee or division. Sign up as a medical student mentor. Help plan the next Rep Council meeting at SAEM in Orlando.

Please don’t be strangers. We’re all in this together, and I hope you know that’s true.

My personal motto is “keep moving forward” — which yes, I totally stole from a children’s movie called Meet the Robinsons, but the sentiment is real. No matter how good we are, we can always be better. I hope you’ll help get us there.

Alicia Kurtz, MD

Alicia Kurtz, MD

EMRA President, Chief Resident, UCSF Fresno, Fresno, CA, @aliciakurtz_md
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