Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2005
Anyone trying to decide between IM and EM? Our ROLs are due next week, so this is a bit of an eleventh-hour question. But I'd love to know how you arrived at your decision, or what issues you're trying to resolve before making your decision.

I'm not asking for people to say why they like IM or EM. (I'm sure you have important things to say, but this topic has been covered elsewhere.) Instead, I'd really like to hear from people who are trying to decide.



10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Apr 5, 2000
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Attending Physician
EM equals NO ROUNDING! do i need to say anymore?

EM deals with peds, geriatrics, OB, gyn, ortho, trauma etc....IM doesn't deal with anything, but adult medicine. definately a difference.

did i mention rounding?



Senior Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2003
Where it's at.
Attending Physician
I was initially faced with the choice between the two specialties, albeit I made my decision before the match process. Rounding was not much of an issue for me because, unless you choose to do academic medicine, your "rounding" will only be you visiting your patients in the hospital should you join a practice that admits patients out of residency. During residency, rouding will be a necessary evil, but is not the norm out of the three year residency. For me, I didn't want to see 2 patients every 20 minutes and tune their medications, write their referrals, sign their disability paperwork, and fall victim to their insurance hassles. I didn't want to deal with IM overhead and practice logistics. I am a simple guy who wants to work when I'm scheduled and go home when I'm not.

Long term patient care and relationships are good things, but I don't get as excited about them as I do the possibility of intubating, working up acute illness, and doing procedures on really sick people.

Some other things to consider are what type of IM you want to practice. If you want to specialize then EM may not be for you, but I chose EM because there wasn't any specific specialty I could enjoy as much as trying to manage everything at once. I guess that's the ADHD component of my personality talking. There are true positives and negatives to each field, and ultimately I chose EM because it best fit who I was, and not who I wanted to be. I'm glad I did...