As a recent residency graduate pioneering an innovation fellowship in emergency medicine while learning the landscape of first-time parenthood, Dr. Cai brings a unique perspective to the EMRA presidency.
First plugging in to EMRA as a committee member, Dr. Cai became EMRA's Director of Health Policy amid a dynamic political environment. Her diplomacy and problem-solving were further displayed when COVID forced a quick pivot to the first-ever virtual Health Policy Primer, a perennially popular event organized by EMRA's Director of Health Policy and the ACEP Young Physicians Section during ACE Leadership & Advocacy Conference.
Now leading the organization through an uncertain climate with predicted workforce challenges, Dr. Cai’s collaborative, reasoned approach will serve residents and medical students well.
Q: What's your first priority as EMRA president?
A: "The answer to this question is both hard and easy: hard because EMRA does so much, but easy because EMRA's core mission has remained steadfast since our founding. EMRA's mission is to be the voice of emergency medicine physicians-in-training and the future of our specialty.
"As EMRA president, my first priority is to sustain EMRA's trainee voice as one that is authoritative, representative, and worthy of your confidence. Our voice is increasingly critical with questions about the future of our specialty have grown over the past year.
"Just as the young leaders before us shaped (really, invented) the specialty of emergency medicine - so will we."
Q: Where do you want EMRA to be at this time next year?
A: “I hope at this time next year, we will say that EMRA has:
- Led the trainee voice in workforce advocacy and career planning guidance;
- Developed a focused strategic plan and a budget that reflects those priorities (we perform triennial strategic planning);
- Continuously optimized our board and staff culture and operations in order to effectively serve EMRA members."
Q: How can EMRA members make a difference?
A: "Tell EMRA what we can do for you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (your message comes directly to me), reaching out through our committees, or by submitting a resolution (next deadline is Feb. 11).
"If you are unloading your frustrations regarding something on which EMRA can make a difference into the void of the Facebook/Twitter-verse or the confines of your residency group chat, you're doing it wrong! Social channels are valuable ways to connect, but they’re not always the best forum for in-depth conversation and context. Please get in touch; we want to hear your perspective and your concerns. We want to have a dialog to offer background that might inform your outlook and your actions. You may not understand the whole problem or the whole solution or have time to fix it, but let's figure it out together."