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Winning ER Contest Submissions
What are the pros and cons of being an ER doctor?

Tracey's submission on what are the pros and cons of being an ER doctor?

After being awarded an MD degree from Harvard University, Dr. Tracey is now dispensing sage medical advice around the world.Here's the first winning essay, submitted by Tracey:

First of all, aside from possessing the skills necessary to survive medical school, internship and residency, an ER doctor must be a notch above the rest in intelligence, speed and accuracy.  There is little margin for error in this field of medicine.  Taking this into consideration, one would assume that an ER doctor would be held in the highest regard among both his fellow physicians, the administrators of the hospital that are fortunate enough to have him/her on staff, as well as the most important beneficiaries of his/her skills, society.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Not only are other specialists, who make far more money and work less hours, often ungrateful, their sloppy excuse for medicine is quite often the root of the problem that lands their patients into the ER.  The administrators at the hospitals often resent an ER doctor for actually wanting to practice medicine in an effective, accurate and cost-effective manner.  They impose such arbitrary restrictions and rules, that even the most altruistic, good-natured physician soon grows weary of and disenchanted with his chosen field.  Lastly, the very people who need the services of an ER doctor are oftentimes the same ones who make his/her job vexing and unpalatable.  An ER doctor has no problem saving the life of a person; in fact, that's one of the few things that makes his/her job bearable.  It's the majority of the cases:  the lawsuit-seeking Medicaid recipient; the abusive patient; the bevy of nonemergent, nonsensical complaints that he/she is barraged with; the endless unnecessary, time-consuming expensive tests performed to rule out any serious conditions in potential litigious situations; the dirt of society that views Emergency Rooms as flop houses; just to name a few, that leads me to believe that choosing Emergency Medicine is probably one of the most masochistic career choices one could make.

The pros of becoming an ER doctor are simple.  One could discuss the higher income levels associated with being an ER doc as a perk; however, the money hardly seems commensurate with the duties of the job.  If I were to define the biggest "pro" it would directly involve the very essence of the job. When else would one have the opportunity to literally save a life or bring someone with many decades of living left back from an early grave? In the face of tragedy, an ER doctor can change the course of another person's history.  One never knows when they will create a memory; an ER doctor leaves an indelible memory in every patient's life that he or she touches.  Like knowing where you were when JFK was killed, any person (or the family that accompanied them) who's been a patient in the Emergency Room will be able to tell you about the doctor that saved their lives, or stitched them up, or mended their broken bodies.  It's a memory that will stay with someone forever.  How nice it is to choose a profession that makes an impact on lives each and every day.  It's one of the few careers that can truly be described as necessary and heroic.

Comments on Tracey's ER essay? 

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