David R. Hoyer, Jr., MD FAAEM
AAEM Activities (past five years)
Free Standing Emergency Centers Interest Group
Texas Chapter Division of AAEM (TAEM) Board of Directors
Scientific Assembly Student Ambassador Mentor
Inter-American Emergency Medicine Conference Speaker
Oral Board Review Examiner
Mitchell Goldman Service Award
My fellow AAEM members, I am running for the Board because we have a wellness crisis in emergency medicine! I have been a member of AAEM’s Wellness Committee since its inception. I am also a Founding Member of AAEM and a past Scientific Assembly invited speaker. My Restoring Wellness campaign has 3 planks:
- Restoring Due Process- we need to get the due process waivers that are ubiquitous in our contracts outlawed. There already exists federal legislation, the “ER Hero and Patient Safety Act”, to do just that. It was introduced in the last Congress as HR 6910, but was not pushed hard enough to receive a vote. I intend to get AAEM’s lobbyists to get the ER Hero Act introduced and pushed in the current Congress after getting it tweaked by AAEM’s lawyers to close a couple of loopholes. After all, we deserve due process just like all the other medical specialties! The rationale for due process waivers is no longer valid. The waivers made their appearance back when staffing companies were hiring doctors trained in other specialties and hospitals wanted the option to “unschedule” those who weren’t up to practicing emergency medicine. Now, of course, due process waivers are used for nefarious purposes like firing doctors who speak up about working conditions or who get a complaint an administrator deems problematic.
- Restoring Mental Health- burnout, depression and suicidality are rampant in medicine! Our suicide rate is twice the national average. Burnout percentage for emergency medicine is in the 50th percentile. Burnout tends to be systemic, with many solutions which should be encouraged. I have addressed depression in my publication “I Came Back from Depression, and So Can You”, which is online. Finally, we need to continue to encourage the Federation of State Medical Boards and its fifty members to continue to update licensing (when needed) to encourage physicians to get help without fear of stigmatization.
- Restoring respect and fairness- we all are very privileged to be in one of the finest professions in the world! Sadly, there are too many physicians, in particular those in positions of power such as medical directorships or contract holders, who are willing to throw colleagues “under the bus”. I understand the pressure to pay off the mortgage and fund your kids’ college. But at the end of your careers sitting on a bigger pile of money is going to be cold comfort if you abused your colleagues en route.
To each AAEM member, I am asking for two things. First is your vote. Second is for your support to do what you can for my 3 planks. In particular, the ER Hero Act will need everyone to contact your legislators. There will be opposition from CMGs and their owners on Wall Street. But if we pull together we can get the ER Hero Act passed, which would go a long way toward restoring wellness in emergency medicine.