Our Summer 2020 Emergency Medicine Workforce (EMWF) Section newsletter has a glimpse of our Workforce response to COVID-19. It has been a challenging year, and we have been changed as physicians, as patients, and as a country. This unexpected threat to health, life, and happiness has had an effect on us all. We have insightful articles providing us with different points of reference for COVID, both here in the US and also in Canada. Many thanks to Dr. Christina Zeretzke-Bien for a heartfelt article about the trials of a working EM mom during COVID-19, and a call to action. I am also grateful to Dr. Etch Shaheen for writing about making positive opportunities out of this COVID pandemic. I have enjoyed his emails on the ACEP EngagED Covid thread. Also included is a link to the 2020 Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives and the Impact of COVID-19, from Merritt-Hawkins. It discusses the overview of salaries, etc., and how the pandemic may affect us financially. We are ready to move on to 2021, hoping it brings healing and peace.
The overall theme for our Emergency Medicine Workforce Section (EMWF) newsletter this summer is “Becoming Stronger: Overcoming Adversity” and taking on this COVID-19 challenge to create opportunities for improvement in healthcare. Our emergency medicine specialty was created out of a need for improved care in desperate situations. We can help create the best emergency medicine departments of the future going forward. Please engage your state and local medical societies, and work with ACEP in our efforts to improve emergency medicine. ACEP has many resources available to use, but we also need doctors to join sections (like EMWF!) and work in groups to improve our specialty and insure we will be there, better, for the next pandemic. Register for ACEP20 UNconventionAL - an interactive, virtual event. We can learn from each other and stay connected. Another source of strength for us is to remember our wellness, and the COVID-19 Physician Wellness Hub is available now to support emergency physicians with peer support and crisis counseling. Please don’t let this disconnected time keep us from staying connected as a group - we are stronger together.
Debbie Fletcher, MD, FACEP