Emergency Medicine Residents Unite
In the spring of 1974 a few of the first emergency medicine residents set out for the Dallas meeting of the University Association for Emergency Medical Services (UA/EMS). Among them was Joseph F. Waeckerle, MD, from Kansas City General. In a hotel bar one afternoon with a few other residents, Waeckerle suggested organizing emergency medicine residents. With the assent of those gathered around, the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association was born. Waeckerle approached the UA/EMS leadership. "I am now the representative from the residents’ association to this organization and I would like to get involved," he recalls saying. "They actually accepted me rather graciously. In fact, they let me sit in on their meeting as an ex officio member."
Over the next year, as EMRA developed its own governance and mission, the relationship became official. ACEP provided administrative support for UA/EMS, leading to the same kind of close relationship with EMRA. ACEP’s interest was obvious - EMRA members were exactly who ACEP sought as future members. EMRA remains medicine’s only independent resident specialty organization, with a membership of more than 8,000 residents, medical students, and alumni.