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American Academy of Emergency Medicine

New AAEM Board Policy Addresses "On-Call" Crisis

The AAEM Board of Directors established the following position statement during its May 18, 2002 Board meeting which was held in conjunction with the SAEM meeting in St. Louis, MO.

AAEM On-Call Crisis Position Statement

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine believes the crisis in “on call” coverage represents a very serious threat to the welfare of emergency department patients and the emergency care system in this country. Currently, there are many situations in which an emergency physician cannot secure timely access to needed care by a specialist for a patient in crisis.This situation promises to worsen if significant corrective action is not taken.

The Academy believes it is essential to have specialists available to emergency department patients. However, the Academy stands in full agreement with its colleagues in other specialties that it is unreasonable to create regulatory or administrative requirements forcing them to provide care with no guarantee of payment. The solution to the “on-call” crisis requires reasonable compensation for all physicians engaged in the care of emergency department patients.