Common Sense

Common Sense is a bi-monthly member magazine that reports on all AAEM activities and news from the world of emergency medicine. It is delivered to the AAEM membership* six times a year, which currently stands at over 8,000 emergency physicians, residents, and others with an interest in emergency medicine. * International members receive an online subscription only.

Submit an Article for Common Sense

View article submission guidelines, submit an updated copyright form, submit an article, and view article submission deadlines at the link below

Interested in submitting an article? Learn more.

Current Issue: November/December 2022

AAEM Common Sense Electronic Issue Only
AAEM Advertising Opportunities

President's Message

  November/December 2022

An Academy, If You Can Keep It

Author: Jonathan S. Jones, MD FAAEM

Is emergency medicine in a crisis? Probably. But it also seems to me that most everything is in crisis now. War in Ukraine, nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea, inflation, global warming, partisanship, and the fact that one day recently the school lunch was supposed to be pancakes, but they did tacos instead. For some reason, my daughter most definitely does not like tacos. I don’t add the last remark to belittle the preceding issues, but rather to suggest that a crisis is subjective.

  September/October 2022


Author: Jonathan S. Jones, MD FAAEM

What is the purpose of a specialty society or association? Or, perhaps, more specifically for us, what is the purpose of an academy? I think we all know what our mission statement is, maybe not verbatim, but we know the gist. As should be the case, some of us identify with or hold in high esteem one part of our mission more than another. However, what I believe is that all of us agree with the mission in general, otherwise, we would not be members. While I think about our mission statement every day and I read it prior to every AAEM meeting, recently, I’ve been thinking more broadly about societies, associations, and academies.

From the Editor's Desk

  November/December 2022

The Agency Trap

Author: Andrew Mayer, MD FAAEM

Unless your hospital is extremely unusual, you have been dealing with the wave after wave of agency nurses coming through your emergency department and the rest of your hospital. Nurses are desperately needed everywhere and they seem to have disappeared. The bidding war of incentive pay, sign on bonuses, and other means of attracting nurses to our hospitals has reached insane levels and yet has not produced the number of nurses needed to staff our hospitals. Many hospitals have closed beds due to understaffing and surgeries are delayed. The level of patient boarding in emergency departments is untenable. Every hospital administrator is frantically trying to scour the Earth trying to find any available nurse. Nursing shortages are not new but it seems Covid has pushed us over the brink to a new and unsustainable level.

  September/October 2022

Thanks for Saving My Life. Sorry I was an A--hole

Author: Andrew Mayer, MD FAAEM

Remember that as an emergency physician you get to do cool stuff. No matter where you work or what the administrative, pay, or nursing situation is right now you still get to do really wonderful things. Many cases which are run of the mill for us would quickly overwhelm many other physicians. Our skill set is impressive and was not gained easily.

Dollars & Sense

  July/August 2020

Disability and Life...Another Option!

Author: Mark Borden, MD FAAEM

Young doctors are the ripest of "low hanging fruit" for insurance sales agents. You will have, early in your training, friendly, affectionate, insurance sales people tracking you like a pack of slobbering hounds.

  May/June 2019

Three Questions

Author: Joel M. Schofer, MD MBA CPE FAAEM

As I progress in my career, I find myself getting busier and busier. Some of it is my own doing...

Featured Articles

  November/December 2022

Addressing Psychiatric Boarding within the Emergency Department

Author: Aislinn D. Black, DO MPH FACEP, Brian Kenny, DO MA, and Akiva Dym, MD FAAEM

As emergency department visits in the United States continue to increase year over year, overcrowding and understaffing within emergency departments has become a growing concern and unfortunately the “new normal.” Few EDs within the country have been immune from the troubling phenomenon of overcrowding and understaffing.

  September/October 2022

Rural Medicine Interest Group: Critical Access

Author: Robyn Hitchcock MD FAAEM, Rural Medicine Interest Group Chair

AAEM recently started the "Rural Medicine Interest Group." A case I had recently reminds me why this is an important forum.

I am working at a new Locums job on the Oregon coast. When people that live in the northwest have a hankering to see the ocean, this is typically where they go. The Washington coast for the most part is unapproachable and rocky, but the Oregon coast has many areas of approach and a plethora of sandy beaches and little seaside towns. Somehow, despite the fact that I've lived in the "Upper Left" for nearly 20 years, I have never made it to the Oregon coast. So this is a great opportunity for me to finally go, explore a little, and get paid to be here. I think it's a win-win.

AAEM Member Bulletin

Additional Articles


View articles from the Resident and Student Association


View articles from the Young Physicians Section

  AAEM Committees

View articles from AAEM Committees

Past Issues

AAEM Letters to the Editor

As the editor of AAEM's bi-monthly newsletter Common Sense, Dr. Mayer welcomes your comments and suggestions. You can easily reach Dr. Mayer by submitting letters to the editor using the online form.

AAEM Article Series

The Master of AAEM Series

  • Achieving Great Outcomes in Your Discharged ED Patients - Tom Scaletta, MD MAAEM FAAEM
  • AAEM: Now More Than Ever! - Larry Weiss, MD JD MAAEM FAAEM
  • Welcome to the Tribe: Thoughts on Starting Out in EM - Joe Lex, MD MAAEM FAAEM
  • Where Would EM be Without AAEM? - Robert McNamara, MD MAAEM FAAEM

Medical Liability - State by State

  • Part 1: Alabama-Florida
  • Part 2: Georgia-Maine
  • Part 3: Maryland-North Dakota
  • Part 4: Ohio-Rhode Island
  • Part 5: South Carolina-Wyoming
  • The Final Summary

Cracking the Code: Fixing the Crowded Emergency Department

  • Part 1: Building the Burning Platform
  • Part 2: Creating the Analytic Model
  • Part 3: Implementing the Solution


Cookie Notice

We use cookies to ensure you the best experience on our website. Your acceptance helps ensure that experience happens. To learn more, please visit our Privacy Notice.