American Academy of Emergency Medicine

An Issue that is Not Addressed by Either AAEM or ACEP

Whether you work for a mega group or a democratic group, ED physicians are not afforded the same due process as the rest of the medical staff. It takes a horror story to get a staff physician removed from the medical staff of a hospital. Not so with ED physicians. Without cause, and if the CEO tells the contracting group that he wants Dr. X off the schedule, no reason has to be given. There is no due process. All the CEO has to do is wave the group contract in the groups face and it is all over. The ED doc is off the schedule.

ABEM has been the leader in continuous certification, which although it may be cumbersome at times, it does keep us current with the literature and changes in the practice of EM.

We will never be respected, except perhaps in a hospital with an EM residency, as long as we are not treated as true peers of the rest of the medical staff of the hospital we work at. Please forward to the AAEM president. I lost my job at the end of March. Without being egotistical, I was the best physician in the group, and the highest paid. It turns out hearsay from the nurse manager of the department (too slow?) was enough to get me removed. I was never actually removed from the staff, but I am not permitted to work there.

Until ED physicians are treated with due process, we will never gain the respect for the lifesaving work that we do.

— Evan B. Tow, DO FAAEM

Thank you for writing, and I couldn't agree more. More importantly, AAEM agrees too. Our Academy has been working hard for quite some time to assure due process for emergency physicians, mainly by making it impossible for any physician to be deprived of peer review and due process by an employment contract with a third party such as EmCare, Team Health, or other contract management group. For more on this issue, see the article by Dr. Larry Weiss (attorney and former president of AAEM) in this issue of Common Sense.               

— The Editor

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