In This Issue:
LTC Sean Keenan, MD FAAEM
As the continued support for our armed forces at war goes into its ninth year, the services of emergency physicians continue to be needed on the battlefields in Southwest Asia and other areas. Back in our medical treatment facilities, we are manning the front lines of medical care for our service men and women and their families. Our continued support across the entire spectrum of military medicine offers us daily challenges and opportunities to serve not only our patients, but our armed forces. And for this, I am proud to be a member of one of the few military medical specialties on the different "front lines" during these dynamic times in our history.
Your state chapter represents the interests of military emergency physicians to our parent organization, AAEM. A large part of AAEM is clinical education, and we are capitalizing on some fantastic educational opportunities this year. We have partnered with CAL/AAEM to bring all of our members subscriptions for WestJEM at no additional membership cost. This educational journal is but one of the benefits of USAAEM.
Last year, we had a very successful pre-conference course in Phoenix, Arizona. This year, capitalizing on our success, we will offer a full day pre-conference course in Las Vegas, the day before the 16th Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly. This chance to gather with our colleagues will allow for sharing medical "lessons learned" with our civilian colleagues and will give us a forum for education, socializing and sharing our experiences. Having attended the last two AAEM Scientific Assemblies, I am excited to attend what will no doubt be our best pre-conference course yet in regards to military emergency medical education. Likewise, the AAEM Scientific Assembly offers some of the finest clinical education that is available today in emergency medicine. I am encouraging all of our membership to make a genuine effort to attend this event as a cornerstone of your continuing medical education for the upcoming year. If you are considering attending the 16th Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly, please register online and seriously consider coming in a day early to enjoy additional CME and support your state chapter by attending the USAAEM pre-conference course.
Lastly, one of "our own," Joel Schofer, our USAAEM Vice President, is running for the AAEM board of directors. For those of you who don't know him, Joel has been with the USAAEM since its inception, and has been an active member at the state and national levels in AAEM. Please consider his candidacy in your vote this year.
James F. Martin, MD FAAEM
Greetings from your USAAEM Reservist/Retired Representative! In taking this position, initially I wasn't sure where this specific position fits into the grand scheme of USAAEM. Although confused, I think I have come up with two main bullets.
I believe that presently there is a great danger of "brain-drain" from our military due to closing of facilities, long deployments, the continuous war-effort and assignments to non-EM positions. Physicians are leaving active service in droves. There is a lot of emergency medicine knowledge and experience that the military loses each year. The first of my goals is to increase the participation of prior service members and stop the "brain-drain."
However, if one has decided to leave active duty service, what then? Are you thrown to the wolves? How do you adjust? As a military residency trained EM doc, I felt very daunted about my transition to civilian practice after my active duty commitment was fulfilled. Where would I practice? Did I get "good enough" training in the military? How can I apply the skills I learned in the military to the civilian side, and was there a need/desire for my training? And billing? Coding? What are these things?! These are big questions, and thankfully, people have gone through it for years. I want to increase the information for, and ease the transition to, civilian practice.
In the coming months, I'll be developing a resource for both active duty and retired/separated emergency physicians to combat these two situations. Be it a column in the newsletter or specific posts on the website, hopefully members can get answers to some of their pressing questions! If you have something to contribute or a specific question, please let me know, and we'll try to flesh-out the answer. Stay tuned!
Coming to an ED Near You: Bringing Military Medical Advancements to the Civilian Emergency System
Joel Schofer, MD RDMS FAAEM
USAAEM is proud to announce our 3rd pre-conference course to be held in conjunction with the 2010 AAEM Scientific Assembly. The pre-conference course will focus on translating military medical advances to emergency departments and EMS systems across the United States. The panel of speakers and topics to be discussed include:
The pre-conference course will be held from 0800 to 1700 on February 14, 2010, and will include lunch. The registration fee is $25 for USAAEM members and $150 for non-members before January 15, 2010. After this date, the registration fee increases to $35 for members and $250 for non-members.
To register, please go to
Robert Kacprowicz, MD FAAEM
As a program director for a military residency program, I hear all sorts of rumors from medical students every interview season. Since I just returned from the Joint Service Graduate Medical Education Selection Board in Washington, D.C., I thought it was a good time to dispel some common myths that I heard during this year's interview season.
1) Medical students will never be selected for emergency medicine residency and will end up going to the field. This is absolutely untrue. In the Army and Air Force, the majority of residents selected to the PGY1-3 programs are directly out of medical school. The Navy is somewhat different in that they host PGY2-4 programs which require completion of an internship, so check with your specific service.
2) If I interview with XYZ military program, they will make me come to that program. Again, this is absolutely untrue. Just like the civilian match process, the prospective residents' choices come first. If you don't rank a program, believe me, we are not going to take you. I am only interested in residents who want to be at my program.
3) I am in the Air Force, and I want to be deferred. I don't need to interview with the military programs. Again, untrue. Even if only by phone, you need to interview with at least one of the military programs. The military program directors from all three services, as well as the specialty consultant for each service score all candidates for the military match. If none of us have heard of you before, your chances go down dramatically. We are not going to pull you from your number one selection to fill our programs. We have plenty of candidates who only want to train in the military.
4) If I don't submit my entire file to the Army/Navy/Air Force, I will get deferred. Again, untrue. If you don't finish your file, you won't train in the specialty at all. We won't be able to objectively compare your file to those who took the time to make sure their file was complete, and you won't train. Make sure your file is complete on ERAS or with the respective Navy or Air Force.
5) The military programs only want prior service candidates. Completely untrue. All military programs want the best candidates, regardless of their service history. Please do not shy away from a military program because you think you are not competitive due to lack of service.
Information and instructions can be found at the following USAAEM members only link: http://www.usaaem.org/email/1209-443.php
American Academy of Emergency Medicine
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USAAEM Board of Directors
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