December 16, 2020

2020 ACEP Council Meeting Recap

Young Physicians of ACEP,

Representatives of our specialty from across the country and from every career path met in late October to discuss the issues facing the practice of emergency medicine at ACEP’s annual deliberative body - the ACEP Council Meeting. This was the first time that the meeting was held entirely online. While we all missed seeing our friends and colleagues in person (what else is new in ‘Rona life?), this online platform provided some surprising perks that young physicians particularly benefited from. 

We were able to participate in the proceedings of our College without having to schedule days off for travel, or budget for hotel rooms and accommodations for childcare. The remote setting allowed for so much flexibility in participation that hopefully ACEP and every other medical society will carry it forward, even as vaccines start to roll out. I hope that each of you reading this takes this into account and considers how you could put your stamp on emergency medicine’s future with more and more participation opportunities opening up. Your Section is here to put you in touch with mentors and groups that match your goals and interests, as well as to get you introduced to the Council process as an Alternate Councilor. Now is the time to start researching and writing resolutions to be heard in October 2021, either in Boston or in our living rooms. Reach out at any time for more information. 

A few items of business passed that deserve particular mention affecting young physicians, including changes to the requirements for Fellowship in the College, APP training, and residency program expansion. 

  • Your Young Physicians Section as well as EMRA and other groups co-authored a resolution that has broadened the criteria for Fellowship in the College. Going forward, time spent in post-residency clinical fellowship training will count towards the three years of practice necessary to be eligible for ACEP Fellow status. Drs. Zach Jarou and YPS Chair John Corker led a brilliant push to allow for more Young Physicians to gain Fellow status. 
  • Prior to the Council meeting, an open letter regarding protecting the term ‘Resident’ was published, signed by nearly every Emergency Medicine organization including ACEP. This letter led to a Council resolution that tasks ACEP to work to clarify what a patient hears when they hear the term ‘Resident’ - that this should be a physician completing their post graduate training, and that other, standardized terms should be used to refer to non-physician providers clinically caring for patients in the Emergency Department. 
  • A huge priority for all young physicians has been finding that first job. We’ve all seen the realities of today’s job market for Emergency Physicians change rapidly, first with the expansion of Contract Management Groups and more recently, with hour and staff cuts during the pandemic. The Council took up many resolutions that sought to tackle this broad issue, including asking ACEP to work with ABEM to fit residency program expansion to expected workforce needs. 

In the upcoming year, the Young Physicians Section will be represented at ACEP’s Council by Dr. Nnenna Ejesieme. Dr. Ejesieme completed her EM residency at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas, and currently practices in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Ejesieme has specifically worked on opportunities for physicians to benefit from loan forgiveness, given our often crushing level of student debt at the end of residency. This is a hot topic for young physicians in every medical specialty, and one that demands your input. 

I’d like to invite you to write to us with your thoughts about physician loan forgiveness, how it could work, and how it will affect your life as a young physician. Dr. Ejesieme has shared her own thoughts and experiences on the topic with us this month in this newsletter. 

The College and our Young Physicians Section are poised to do great things in this challenging time. I would like to thank you all for the opportunity to represent us this past year and look forward to seeing more and more of us take part in this process. 

Onward, 

Benjamin Karfunkle, MD
Immediate Past YPS Councillor