Common Sense

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor

Dear Dr. Mayer:

My compliments to you, Dr. Jonathan Jones, Laura Burns, and the rest of AAEM’s staff on the new look of Common Sense. Great job! I was especially glad to see your editorials “Crossed Swords” and “What is ACEP Thinking,” and Dr. Lisa Moreno-Walton’s article “Thoughts on the Election of a Surgeon to the Presidency of ACEP.” 

Even after I became a founding fellow of AAEM, I remained a member of ACEP, thinking I would do all I could for emergency medicine as a member of the Academy while I waited for the College to come around and start looking out for the interests of individual emergency physicians — meaning board certified specialists in emergency medicine. Unfortunately ACEP never did change course, and I finally gave up and resigned in disgust over behavior that convinced me ACEP had sold its soul to corporate interests — and had sold out both its membership and our specialty at the same time. I wrote the College and explained my action too.  

Nothing seems to have improved since then. In the ensuing 20 years ACEP has granted fellowship status (FACEP) to non-board certified physicians (as far as I know the only specialty society in medicine to do such a thing), continued to elect upper management from corporate staffing companies like EmCare/Envision to leadership positions, and now even elected a president who isn’t a board certified emergency physician at all. Does the rank and file membership not know about these things? Do they not care? Do they not see the conflict of interest? Is it the lack of direct democracy that results in such decisions? I just don’t understand how this keeps happening. It’s bad for our specialty and all emergency physicians, whether we are members of ACEP or not. 

That is why it is important that you and others keep the spotlight on ACEP. There is no telling what they would do if the Academy wasn’t around to compete with the College and criticize it when called for. Dr. Bob McNamara did a good job of pointing out how AAEM has made ACEP a better organization in the last issue of Common Sense, with his article “Where Would EM be Without AAEM?.” Please keep up the good work.

Thank you,

- Andy Walker, MD FAAEM

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