November 22, 2019

Councillor’s Corner

By Benjamin Karfunkle, MD, YPS Councilor, Nnenna Ejesieme, DO, YPS Alternate Councilor, and John R. Corker, MD, YPS Chair-Elect

ACEP held its annual meeting in Denver at the end of October. In the days before the fun and education of the Scientific Assembly, representatives from every aspect of emergency medicine convened during ACEP’s 2019 Council Meeting to guide the actions of the ACEP's Board of Directors for 2019-20. We discussed topics touching on every aspect of our various practices, and your Young Physicians Section rose to the microphone to speak to many of them. Not all the resolutions we discussed particularly affect the young physician more than any other EM doc, but a few did stand out:

YPS spoke in favor of ACEP developing a policy statement in favor of pay transparency for emergency physicians. As young physicians entering the workforce for the first time, we may not realize just how much we are worth. The ability to compare salary and benefits packages will serve the young physician well, and we thank ACEP for working to develop this policy. The policy was originally introduced as a measure to address disparities in pay between genders in emergency medicine and will help address this issue as well.

Just like a febrile kiddo, vaccines were a hot topic. Members of every section, and our college at large, support widespread vaccination and have guided ACEP to speak publically out in favor of eliminating nonmedical exclusions for vaccines and support of vaccinations for ICE detainees.

Our soon-to-be colleagues who were until recently in training at Hahnemann Hospital in Philadelphia have yet again found themselves taken advantage of, as their former hospital seeks to auction off their GME slots and funding, potentially forcing them to relocate to whoever buys their GME slot. ACEP has resolved to immediately support CMS in opposing these sales in particular and any future commoditization of GME funding and slots.

Many other issues were debated over the course of the two days of Council deliberations including APP scope of practice issues, firearm safety research, and single payer health insurance schemes.

One last topic that I would highlight for the young physicians is the role of private equity in Emergency Medicine. ACEP is an organization made up of members who work in all kinds of practice environments - whether academic, small democratic groups, corporate contract management groups, military and government positions, and those working internationally. ACEP members and EM docs outside ACEP have begun to express concern regarding the role of private equity on the practice of emergency medicine. ACEP has committed to report back annually on the market penetration of non-physician ownership and its effects on EM practice, as well as to partner with the American Medical Association and other interested national medical societies to evaluate in what situations corporate or private equity investment has led to market efforts that increase the costs of health care to consumers without increasing access or quality. ACEP further has resolved to advocate for intervention in areas where corporate or private equity investment in health care could lead to negative market effects.

Lastly, it is with great pleasure that we welcome Nnenna Ejesieme, DO, as this year's YPS Alternate Councilor. She will help lead our section on to great new things and represent us in Council next year.

It was a busy Council meeting - it always is. There are innumerable issues facing emergency medicine today, and there always will be. The charge is on us as young physicians to become educated on these issues and rise to become their equal, for the benefit of our patients and our profession. There is no one place you can go to learn everything about every issue. The network your Young Physicians Section provides you can help you find a mentor in your geographic area or your area of interest. Please reach out to us and let us help you find where you want to make an impact in our profession. If you like to plan ahead, we hope to see you at ACEP20 next October in Dallas where the Council will convene again with a whole new slate of issues to face.

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