For those about to start a career in Emergency Medicine

If you are going to sit the Fellowship exam in the next 12 months, don’t click on the link below. If you haven’t sat your first part, or are in between the first & second part exams, or if you’ve stumbled across this site and are wondering about signing up to the ED training program click on this link.

Then when you’ve had time to forget about it (which will only take about 9 hours according to Chris Nickson’s excellent LITFL article on learning by spaced repetition), go back and read it again, and ask yourself if that’s where you want to be in a few years. Then send a copy of the article to your husband/wife/life partner/significant other and ask them if that’s where they want you to be in a few years, coming home after a shift like that. The answer is obvious.

Ask anyone who’s just sat the ACEM Fellowship exam how hard it was. Apart from the rare genius most people find it really, really hard. It takes an enormous amount of time, sacrifice, hard work, and for some it poses a real risk to one’s health and realtionships. And for what? The privilege of working in these conditions.

This may seem like a bit of a personal rant, but on the contrary, I think it’s information that is on the public record that needs to be disseminated, and may save some of you from making grave mistakes with your choice of career, or wasting a year (or years) of your life studying for an exam that you may seriously regret sitting. Forewarned is forearmed, so if you choose to proceed, do so knowing that this is where you may end up.

And this is before they’ve introduced the 4-hour rule…

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