What is an emergency physician?
An emergency physician, also known as an ER doctor, works in the emergency room of a hospital and practices emergency medicine.
Emergency physicians work in a fast-paced field and must be able to make quick decisions that have a life-or-death impact on their patients. With this responsibility, emergency physicians must remain calm under pressure and have strong adaptability.
Some of the tasks that emergency physicians complete include:
- physical examinations
- patient consultations
- blood tests
- imaging tests (e.g., ultrasounds, X-rays)
There are many subspecialties that emergency physicians can choose to pursue, including:
- emergency medical services
- anesthesiology critical care medicine
- medical toxicology
- hospice and palliative medicine
- pain medicine
- internal medicine/critical care medicine
- sports medicine
- neurocritical care
- pediatric emergency medicine
Why are emergency physicians important for healthcare?
Emergency physicians provide the first round of care for patients experiencing acute health problems or traumatic injuries. These physicians are responsible for stabilizing and treating the patient.
The emergency physician is also responsible for determining if a patient can be discharged or if they require a transfer to another department for further treatment.