The many diverse initiatives ACEP has been working on for years seem to be weaving together into a fabric right now to help emergency medicine move forward. Whether we’re dealing with health equity or a pandemic response or staffing, all of these pieces seem to be coming to a head.
And it’s so exciting because at the end of the day, through ACEP’s support, we will have better solutions to help you and the specialty. ACEP’s role and value proposition is bigger than it ever has been. As the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated, emergency medicine can’t stick to what was status quo. There are evolving roles of emergency physicians - a complete change of how we managed things in the past.
Such as the role of emergency medicine in mitigating health disparity. I believe emergency departments can bring resources to their communities to help provide health equity by using strategies to improve the way we take care of people regardless of their ability to pay, regardless of color, regardless of religion.
Another opportunity for the specialty is the enhanced role of telemedicine. We can expand our footprint into nursing homes, rural America and even more locations. With the help of telemedicine, we can bring board-certified, residency-trained emergency physicians to every community to help usher the physician-led team in emergency medicine.
And, of course, pandemic readiness is now a major focus of emergency medicine. I saw the way we shifted our approach to pain and addiction when the pandemic exacerbated the problem with closed pain centers and doctors’ offices. I saw the way emergency physicians provided palliative care as they held the hands of those actively dying and helped families communicate through technology. We did more than we ever thought was possible. And in many ways, COVID brought out the best in emergency medicine. We can take those parts forward as we improve the safety of the emergency physician in this pandemic or any in the future.
What emergency physicians all have is an inner drive to go toward danger, not away from it. To treat each and every person as someone we can help. And when we do, they know that we were the best thing they saw on their worst day. That’s what makes emergency medicine – and each of you – so special.
- Mark S. Rosenberg, DO, MBA, FACEP
ACEP President, October 2020 - October 2021