By: C.C. Halloran, MD, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland, Ohio
When I received my renewal notice from ACEP this year, I was given the option of becoming an EMRA alumnus for $50. I signed up without a second thought. I was proud to continue my membership with EMRA, and here's why:
1. EMRA advocates not just for residents but also for the future of our specialty.
It's no secret that EMRA is about supporting medical students and emergency medicine residents. We have a long track record of going to bat for residents on such issues as moonlighting and work hours. As an attending, these issues are less important to me than they once were, but EMRA's mission is no less relevant in other ways. EMRA has taken a huge lead in public policy advocacy in recent years. Issues such as ED overcrowding and access to healthcare have been at the forefront of EMRA's agenda. We have been sponsoring residents to attend ACEP's annual Legislative & Advocacy Conference and are now sponsoring two residents, fellows, or young physicians to attend a one-month mini-fellowship in health policy in ACEP's Washington, D.C. office.
2. Supporting EMRA reinforces the importance of emergency medicine residency training.
The battles of our young specialty are still fresh in the minds of many of those practicing today. It took a long time for the American Board of Medical Specialties to recognize emergency medicine as a unique specialty. It took additional time for ABEM to develop a board certification exam and delineate the requirements to sit for it. For those of you unaware of the history of our specialty, you might think that the establishment of EM residency training and board certification requirements was the end of any controversy. Yet surprisingly the debate on these issues continues. It wasn't until just a few years ago that a lawsuit against ABEM's requirement of residency training as the only pathway to board certification was dismissed. And the American Board of Physician Specialties has reared its ugly head in several states, offering an "alternative certification" to practice emergency medicine. EMRA has been at the forefront of each of these fights. We will ALWAYS support EM residency training as the only route to EM board certification. As someone who trained in EM and hopes to soon be board certified, this is extremely important to me, as it values what I have worked so hard to accomplish. If you're reading this, you're either a medical student planning to train in EM, a resident training in EM, or a graduate of an EM residency, and this should be important to you too.
3. EMRA Alumni continue to get EMRA's great publications
As an alumni member, you'll continue to get some of the great publications you received as a resident. You will receive a copy of EMRA's popular Antibiotic Guide with each new publication. Last year we published a pocket airway card which was very well received. We have several other cards in the works. You'll also continue to receive EM Resident. Now, maybe I'm a little biased, especially when it comes to the latter, but these are a great value.
4. As an alumnus, you will have access to EMRA's website.
There is so much wonderful content on EMRA's website, especially for new attendings. You can find great information about contracts and malpractice. There is an entire archive of Shayne Ruffing's "Money Matters" which provides invaluable advice on such topics as disability insurance, life insurance, and retirement planning. You'll find clinical cases, advice on new technology, and interesting information on the history of our specialty.
5. Your EMRA Alumni dues help to support the residents following in your footsteps.
I'm grateful for all that EMRA has given me – information that helped me match into EM, support throughout my residency training, the opportunity to network with current and future leaders of our specialty, and the chance to develop my own leadership skills. Instead of being disinterested now that I'm an attending, I want to keep my finger on the pulse of resident life, especially as I embark on a career in academics, and I'm happy to support EM residents in any way I can.
Is all this worth $50? You bet! Join the ranks of the EMRA Alumni today