With this month, I have now officially been an attending emergency physician for one year. Residency graduation seems like it was just yesterday, and yet now I’ve been out “on my own” for 12 months, and when I’m not busy representing EMRA, I’ve been working mainly in a community-based high-volume ED.
Whatever stage you are in training, I expect at some point you have been told how much we all learn in our first year out of residency. That first year is a tightrope walk as we attempt to apply the clinical skills learned in training, while working to continue medical education, all the while balancing an attending’s salary (which disappears fast after taxes, loans, insurance, and retirement savings are taken into account).
This article also marks about the 18-month halfway point of my term serving as your EMRA president. My goals when I was elected to this position were to grow and strengthen EMRA in size, value to members, and impact on our specialty and our patients. Thanks to the seemingly tireless efforts of our dedicated EMRA staff and volunteer leaders, I am proud to see what EMRA has accomplished in the past 18 months, and what we are poised to achieve.
EMRA has grown in size, now topping 13,000 diverse individuals, including international members, students, residents, fellows, and alumni. More than membership growth, what impresses me most is our expanding opportunities for our members and the benefits EMRA provides (the creation of our Emmy Award-winning documentary “24/7/365,” expansion of fall and spring awards, regional meeting grants, and growing educational offerings are just a few examples). None of our impressive accomplishments are the work of any one individual, but rather the result of our organization serving as a catalyst for the passion and ideas our members continue to bring to EMRA. As my time at the helm of our incredible organization begins to wind down, I hope you will consider becoming more involved in shaping the path EMRA takes in the years ahead.
EMRA is seeking dedicated members to serve on our Board of Directors. Elections to the Board will take place during the ACEP15 in Boston in October. As any current or past Board member will tell you, the work can be intense, but the lifelong relationships you will make, and the opportunity to make a lasting contribution to our specialty are truly priceless. I encourage you to consider seeking an open position on our Board (details and position descriptions are on EMRA.org), or encourage a colleague that you know would be an asset to our organization to do the same. EMRA is working to be on the front lines, addressing issues such as resident wellness, protecting the future of GME, and delivering educational content in formats aligned with learner needs. If you feel we should also be focusing on something else, that’s all the more reason to take on a leadership role to share your ideas and experience.
As October draws near, I am proud and excited to pass the torch of EMRA leadership to Dr. Ramnik Dhaliwal. Ricky hit the ground running from Day 1 as EMRA President-Elect and has already left his mark on EMRA, formalizing leadership development for our committee and division chairs and working closely with staff as we prepare for our next strategic plan review, which will take place with our newly elected Board during our winter strategic planning meeting and retreat.
Time flies, especially when you’re having fun. My time with EMRA has been and will continue to be one of the highlights of my personal and professional life. While I’m looking ahead, I’m not out the door yet, so please never hesitate to share your ideas on how we can make EMRA even better. Thanks for all you do for our incredible organization.