Paramedic2617

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Just curious how many of you guys were in EMS and then decided to become doctors?

When I finished high school, I began volunteering on local BLS squad. I became and EMT and worked transport for a year. I then went to medic school (for a year). I used my year of medic school to get my BS in Emergency Medicine through University of Pittsburgh. Now I'm in the process of getting into medical school and am working full time as a medic.

Herschel

PS I am curious of EMSers who began EMS without intention of medical school vs EMSers who did it for medical school EC. Thanks :)
 

Jambi

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Lots of folks here that have decided to go to medical school. As for me, I didn't get into EMS with the intention of going to medical school, It's just kinda where my path as led. Besides, I can't go around lifting gurneys all my life :D .
 

southerndoc

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I was a medic before (and during) medical school.

I still have a love for EMS and sincerely miss the ambulance and helicopter. I volunteered for a pediatric ICU transport this morning during my rotation in the PICU. Just wanted to get back on the streets, albeit even if it was just an interfacility critical care transport.
 
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Vince

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Joined the local volunteer fire department last year of high school(1994), and then became interested in firefighting as a career. Tested for the city fire department when I was 18, and I was already an EMT, and didn't get hired. :(

Decided to go to Paramedic school and over time became more interested with medicine and though I had already turned in my application with the fire department again, I decided not to test and instead starting getting my pre-reqs out of the way at a JC.

After a couple years at JC, transferred to University and got degree in Biology. I worked as a Paramedic and Vol. FF throughout college, as well as for Rural/Metro and as a 911 dispatcher. Taught EMT school as well.

Great experiences and they eventually helped my application when I decided to go to medical school. Applied to D.O. school and got accepted first time I applied.

Thought I would be going into Emergency Medicine throughout the first two years of medical school, but as I started out on rotations my third year, I didn't enjoy the "new" health care environment I was working in. Although I sometimes miss my time on the ambulance, and even on the FD, I didn't think I would be happy long term as an ER doc.

Decided to become a radiologist and applied last year and matched so I'm currently an intern and will start residency in Radiology in July 2006.

That's my story and now you know why my signature is what it is...

:)
 

12R34Y

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Went to undergrad with the intention of going to medical school. Got bored and became a paramedic. Loved EMS more than anything, but after working for a few years I started to want more......ie. to be the doctor.

Applied to medical school.....still worked as a medic for the first year. I'm currently interviewing for EM programs and will hopefully be starting an EM residency in July.

Still desperately miss EMS and long to be back on the streets, but I'll absolutely be involved in paramedic education and medical direction in the future.

later
 

WestcoastMedicine

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I got my EMT my last year of highschool. Started out college with the intention of going into biology. I worked two overnight shifts a week during college to help with bills, loving every minute of it. I then changed my mind in college to go into medicine based on my experiences in EMS. There are a lot of students in my class who are EMTs, but it seems like alot of them went to EMT school just to have it on their med school application and were never really active.
 

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During college I worked for a private company that ran technical rescue trainings. After doing that for a while I got my EMT and started volunteering at a local ER. I got hired as a tech and worked there for 2 years while I was also working as a firefighter. I eventually went to work full time for the tech rescue company but kept doing the FF thing as a volly and eventually became a training officer for the county FD. Then for some reason I decided I should go to med school and here I am.
 

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< I am curious of EMSers who began EMS without intention of medical school vs EMSers who did it for medical school EC. >

Oh, I totally feel like I've been drafted. I started out as a volunteer, and thought the ED was sufficiently cool that I got EMT training. Then they hired me to work as a tech, and here I am two and a half years later, halfway across the country doing prereqs in a Post-Bac program. Stuff happens. :)
 

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Febrifuge said:
< I am curious of EMSers who began EMS without intention of medical school vs EMSers who did it for medical school EC. >

Oh, I totally feel like I've been drafted. I started out as a volunteer, and thought the ED was sufficiently cool that I got EMT training. Then they hired me to work as a tech, and here I am two and a half years later, halfway across the country doing prereqs in a Post-Bac program. Stuff happens. :)
Volunteering in the ED is great...the position I have doesn't require any health-care knowledge or experience, but the nurses and docs have become familiar with me and my Basic level of training and put it to use to help out patients with basic vitals, treatment, and initial triage.

In regards to the original question, I started off university with the interest of going to med school. I started volunteering and getting my EMS training to get some patient-care experience, and ever since I started I have loved it to death...almost enough to make me want to quit university and just work as a paramedic, but I'm going to finish what I started and see how things go when everything is said and done.
 

quideam

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I started off as a volunteer EMT when I was 16 because... a guy I had a crush on was doing it and I thought it was kind of cool :eek: . In any case, the guy thing fell through, but I loved EMS and stuck with it throughout high school and most of college, working and volunteering when I could. I'm currently an MS2, and I spent the summer after MS1 volunteering as a medic in Jerusalem :thumbup: :thumbup: . Current plans: EM residency :D

Q
 

a_ditchdoc

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I started EMs classes when I was 17, just by chance really. I loved it! I continued taking EMS classes, even to the point of taking two paramedic classes at once (accelerated and degree), and managed to get my paramedic by 19. I had intentions of going to college full time for something. I don't recall what, if anything, I had in mind. But, every year I would tell myself "One more year" as I saw new and exciting things in EMS. I was taking various, random, classes part time throughout my career. I decided when I was 23 that I wanted to be a physician so that I could take on more responsibility for my patients. Not wanting to surrender my job, I worked full time as I attended college. This time I focused my studies on anthropology and decided third world medicine would be awesome (I ended up with 240 semester hours on my transcript lol...). Well, I started medical school at 31 years old, in Israel, studying international medicine. Currently MS3. Plans: EM all the way. Would I change things? Well, I suppose I would have started college full time a lot earlier while working part time or living on loans.
 

Mr. Freeze

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Me.

I began EMS when I was tricked into thinking firefighters actually fight fire. Was definitely not in it for EC, since I didn't think I would go to college at the time (went Army right after high school). Been doing it 8 years now and I will stop this summer when I begin med school. I'm not sure when during those 8 years I decided to go all the way.
 

pm2do

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My story sounds very similiar only I got into the whole health care stuff by accident. My baby sis was an EMT before me, she moved w/ me to my first undergrad college and started volunteering w/ the local squad, I started volunteering a few months later. At first it was just something to do to give back to the community (the place would let you volunteer w/ Basic FA, CPR and HIV class) went to EMT school while doing my undergrad classes fulltime, no thoughts originally of doing Paramedic. Graduated, didnt like my degree realized needed a "real"job, went to Paramedic school for a year and started to work fulltime as a Paramedic, and worked part-time in ER. Married, and started dreaming of going to medical school. Followed my husband in his dreams (FF w/ city dept.) got hired w/ an FD that put me thru fire school. Went to work at same dept as hubby, and then started postbac stuff for med school. Took me several years, finally left FD to finish up (worked for ER and for private) and finally got into medical school this year :) Hate the question of what I want to do when done? I obviously like EM/critical care but as a friend of mine told me, 3/4 year is to figure out what you dont like...have to get to that point first. Even though I am slightly older I am glad I have taken the road I have. I appreciate where I am and am fortunate to have wonderful support from hubby. Anyways just my 2 cents...
 
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McPoyle

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Kinda got into EMS by accident... I was 19 and was being pressured by friends and family to do somthing with my life, had a couple friends who were medics so I thought I'd give it a shot. Took an EMT couse and went on to get my medic when I was 20, I'm 24 now and have been a medic for two years, absolutely love it. However, as was stated before, can't do it the rest of my life. Currently hammering away at Minnesota getting my undergrad done and hopefully will be applying to medical school in two years. Right now, I'd love to continue in EM, I'd love to be a medical director of an EMS service at some point. I plan to continue working on the street until I can't physically do it anymore.
 

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Hey guys, I have worked as a basic for 3 summers now, it has definitely helped. It was the focus of my med school essay, interview, and it has cause me to become interesting in the fields of cardiology and emergency med.
 

oudoc08

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Volunteer Fire senior year in H.S., EMT- B then EMT-P x 7 yrs, prior to med school. I didn't start EMT w/ the intention of going to med school, but I kept wanting more. After working as a paramedic and enjoying the medicine, but disliking the "technician" aspect. I let my EMT-P expire last year. Not completey sure what specialty I'll wind up in. Likely EM or rads. If I do EM, I plan to spend a fair amount of time working with and developing whatever EMS system I'm involved with to maximize their level of training and proficieny. My biggest complaint with EMS today is the narrow scope of training. If it were up to me, EMT-P would be a 2yr associates program with the same prereqs as RN. There would also be a BSE (Bach. of Science in EMS) widely available with an emphasis on management and advanced sciences (vs. more procedures or skills). I don't see a future for a masters program. If you want to do that, go to PA school.

I think it's ridiculous to run around saying "we deserve the same pay as those RN's", when nobody wants to sit through the basic education (minimum associates degree) that the RN's have. Nobody wants to take English comp, College algebra, etc., but if you want to be on par with the other specialties, it's necessary.

Another step to becoming more like the rest of the medical specialties is doing away with being nationally registered.
Medicine, nursing, pharmacy, you name it. They are all state licensed.
So, I say we follow the model. Also, It's ridiculous to have to sit through a 48 hr refresher class in addition to CE. That's what CE is for, and again, we're the only specialty to require something like that. Doing away with the registry would do away with that problem.

Seriously, why do we have a national registry anyways?
 

southerndoc

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oudoc08 said:
Seriously, why do we have a national registry anyways?
I'm a big fan of the National Registry, although it certainly does have its problems that need to be corrected.

Ideally, it would be great if paramedics could move from state to state without additional testing.

I wish the National Registry of EMT's would stop using "NREMT-P" for paramedics. I think "NRP" would be better -- Nationally Registered Paramedic. Yes, paramedics are technically EMT's, but I think we can drop the EMT part. The title is just way too long.
 

f_w

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Radiographers (radiologic technologists) have a national registry. It allows them to move relatively unrestricted among the states that use the national certification exam as a standard. Consider yourself lucky if your profession is organized on a national level. In medicine, the states rule. And it is not pretty.

I think a lot of physicians would appreciate a further professinalization of the EMS field. Right now, the training is still a bit in the 'technician' mode. Very algorithmic, little focus on 'evaluation and management', the paradigm more prevalent in medicine as a whole. A two year associates with practical training during 'clinicals' would also give people more options to advance further if they so desire.
 

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Started at the bottomest part of the ladder: First Responder. Yup. Then EMTB and volunteer FF. Got state certified up to FFII level. Was the first paramedic on the fire department (that started a trend - they now have ambulances). Then worked for several paid ambulance companies over the course of 10 years, loved every minute of it. Got hurt at work and decided to go back to school... and started dreaming of med school. But it was just a dream. Until I took the MCATs and applied to med school this year.

I start in August. :D :D
 

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I am kind of in a different situation. I am a pre-med bio major. I am a junior (going the 5 year route) and I am very interested in getting my basic EMT this summer and then getting into medical school fall 08.

If anyone had any suggestions or views on this route I'd greatly appreciate it.
 

southerndoc

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DoctorPardi said:
I am kind of in a different situation. I am a pre-med bio major. I am a junior (going the 5 year route) and I am very interested in getting my basic EMT this summer and then getting into medical school fall 08.

If anyone had any suggestions or views on this route I'd greatly appreciate it.
Only go to EMT school if you want to work in EMS. Don't use it as a pad to get into medical school because you can use standard clinical volunteer time for that.
 

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I took the round-about method:

1996-1997 Volunteer first responder
1997-1999 Basic EMT (volunteer and paid); volunteer firefighter
1999-2001 Intermediate EMT (paid and volunteer); volunteer FF
2001-2003 Respiratory therapist (including flight ops), pulmonary function technician, echocardiographer
2003-2005 Respiratory therapist; volunteer EMT
2005-Present Funeral director's assistant (I hate RT)
2006-?? Volunteer EMT-I (I start next week when I finish moving)
 

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southerndoc said:
Only go to EMT school if you want to work in EMS. Don't use it as a pad to get into medical school because you can use standard clinical volunteer time for that.
PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT SOUTHERNDOC JUST SAID. Thank you.
 
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Paramedic2617 said:
Just curious how many of you guys were in EMS and then decided to become doctors?

When I finished high school, I began volunteering on local BLS squad. I became and EMT and worked transport for a year. I then went to medic school (for a year). I used my year of medic school to get my BS in Emergency Medicine through University of Pittsburgh. Now I'm in the process of getting into medical school and am working full time as a medic.

Herschel

PS I am curious of EMSers who began EMS without intention of medical school vs EMSers who did it for medical school EC. Thanks :)
Went to work for the fire department right outta high school...no intention of even going to college, let alone med school....went to EMT then paramedic school, bonded with an ER doc who kinda became my mentor, quit the fire dept after 2 years, went to college, ran outta money in junior year, worked full time as a paramedic in Florida (Manatee County EMS) on the four-to-midnight shift while taking 17 hour semester loads...accepted to 3 med schools, went to U of Miami, anesthesia residency, now almost 10 years in practice.

What a ride. Glad I did what I did. It was worth the relentless schedule.
 

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jetproppilot said:
Went to work for the fire department right outta high school...no intention of even going to college, let alone med school....went to EMT then paramedic school, bonded with an ER doc who kinda became my mentor, quit the fire dept after 2 years, went to college, ran outta money in junior year, worked full time as a paramedic in Florida (Manatee County EMS) on the four-to-midnight shift while taking 17 hour semester loads...accepted to 3 med schools, went to U of Miami, anesthesia residency, now almost 10 years in practice.

What a ride. Glad I did what I did. It was worth the relentless schedule.
Anesthesia and EMS to boot? I knew I liked you! :thumbup:
 
M

Mike MacKinnon

heh

Started at the end of high school as an EMT. Became a medic in canada while i was doing a science degree in psych (read: BEER). enjoyed it for a couple of years until i felt I had maxed out as a medic with nothing new to do. Went to nursing school (4 yr degree) been an RN for many yrs now. Became a flight RN (still a medic as well). Now I run my own medic program, do alot of ems education and of course, still fly full time.

I decided to do the pre reqs for med school last year as I felt there was nowhere left for me to go in nursing and I have no interest at all in mid levels (i have more autonomy with sicker patients in flight than mid levels). Basically, i had alwasy thought about med school but sortof assumed I couldnt do it. I changed my mind :p

I also agree. Never get into EMS as a medic or EMT (or nursing as an RN for that matter) if you are not serious about it. It reflects badly on your app not positively when you use it as a stepping stone.

Many people on this board ask if previous medical experience (emt-p or RN) is helpful in the application process. My feeling is that it is a double edged sword. I have had some admissions people say, and i quote "While your previous experience may be helpful in the clinical years of medical school, they have no bearing on the admissions process". I'm sure that is not every school but it isnt the first time I have heard it said. Some people say that this is more the attitude of MD schools and that DO schools are more interested in non-trads with medical backgrounds. Maybe this is so, I cannot say for sure.

What do I think? As a medical person and a pre med who has done a crapload of research, I think we are in a better position than those who know nothing of medicine. Some of the other posters here who have already finished (or are in) the journey can speak to it better than I. Unfortunately, medical school is focused on numbers (GPA/MCAT)as there is really no better way to screen applicants.

I am beyond excited to goto medical school. Even though i question myself about it weekly, the idea is awesome to me. I want to "know what I dont know", so to speak. If you want it bad enough, it is certainly within reach. Go for it. I really believe that if you dont at least try, you will always look back and wonder about it and maybe regret it.

Off the soapbox now :)
 

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A lot of Canadian paramedic associations (eg. Ontario) promote more clinical decision making over protocol adherence. I think this is a much better strategy than just having technicians follow protocol. I've seen cases where protocol did not align with the best interests of the patient, but because the person was not educated to understand why a protocol was designed a certain way, they did not realize the harm they were causing.
 

jwk

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leviathan said:
A lot of Canadian paramedic associations (eg. Ontario) promote more clinical decision making over protocol adherence. I think this is a much better strategy than just having technicians follow protocol. I've seen cases where protocol did not align with the best interests of the patient, but because the person was not educated to understand why a protocol was designed a certain way, they did not realize the harm they were causing.
Kind of off topic, but....

Limited training/education = limited "clinical decision making" and more adherence to protocols. If something varies from protocol, that's what medical control is for.
 

leviathan

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jwk said:
Kind of off topic, but....

Limited training/education = limited "clinical decision making" and more adherence to protocols. If something varies from protocol, that's what medical control is for.
Yes...precisely why more education needs to be put in place. Nothing is unjustified about following protocols, but as others were saying, that makes you a technician, and not a clinician. Ontario Paramedics get a fair amount of education in order to be able to make their own decisions (or at least deviate from their protocol when they deem it necessary). Of course, does any research show that increasing the education of paramedics in turn increase the effectiveness of pre-hospital care, or does the protocol-driven system meet the needs of EMS?
 
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Mike MacKinnon

leviathan said:
Yes...precisely why more education needs to be put in place. Nothing is unjustified about following protocols, but as others were saying, that makes you a technician, and not a clinician. Ontario Paramedics get a fair amount of education in order to be able to make their own decisions (or at least deviate from their protocol when they deem it necessary). Of course, does any research show that increasing the education of paramedics in turn increase the effectiveness of pre-hospital care, or does the protocol-driven system meet the needs of EMS?
good question

the answer is No.

What research is out there, and believe me there isnt much; basically says that calling a cab (which typical has a faster response time in an urban area) and having them drive "Really Fast" to the hospital has better outcomes than an ALS response. Now, yes this was a research study oft quoted.

I think that, for the most part, this is true. Easily 98% of patients are simply being driven into the ER, not signifigantly treated. Out of that 98% easily 90 % could be BLS response (which also has research behind it suggesting BLS does the primary care quicker and gets to hospital faster (less "stay and play" more "Load and go".)).

Now, as a medic and a flight RN i have personally been in situations where i KNOW i have made the difference between that person dying and living to walk out of the hospital, so have any of you who are seasoned medics. I would estimate those calls at about 10 a year orso in flight and much less when i was on the ground. Remember, the only stat that is relevant is survival to discharge.

At the end of the day, there is no way to account for the cost of even ONE life you save. So, if all your calls are 99%'ers except that 1 which you save, then everything we do is worth it from my perspective.


As for education in the USA for medics, it is as a whole disjointed, seperated and weak. The majority of programs here are 6 month with 1400 hour didatic and the rest clinical and ride time. The focus is on the national registry exam which is ABSOLUTELY a cookbook exam (in fatc many of the questions on it are wrong based on todays research and common sense ie: lido pre RSI for head injuiry and start iv's distal and work in). This being the case paramedics are left to their own desire and motivation to better themselves. Like any profession, this barely constitutes 10% of people. So, you end up with alot of cookbook medics.

Add to that the FireDept problem in the USA and you essestially ring the death bell for critical thinking in paramedicine. A smart man knows that he can either do one thing 100% or 2 things with a split of the same. A Paramedic Fireman is splitting his personal resources and it is often to the tune of 90% Fireman and 10% Medic, this is evidenced by the term "FireMedic". What ends up happening is that an individual spends the majority of time learing about fireman stuff and neglecting (or spending little) learing the "WHYs" of medicine.

The next factor about why protocol driven Paramedicine wont change in the USA has everything to do with legality. You have been there when you patched for something, Oh lets say a dead guy, and the physician tells you to work them and bring them in. Stupid, but it happens. This happens because of the physicians JUSTIFIED fear of liability, it isnt the right medical thing to do often, but it is self protective for the physician. So, based on this, you wont find EMS changing much, ever from my perspective. Your ability to deviate will be directly related to your medical director. Also, add to the pot the negative experiences an ER will have with some stupid medics who make absolutely idiotic mistakes negatively impacting (read: Killing) a patient. This often causes ER staff including physicians, to be very conservative and wary of all EMS since there is little interaction and the worst things are never forgotten.

I teach one of the 6 month medic classes where i live. I tried to make it 2 year, then tried for 1 year. The response that i got from students was this:

"Why would I bother taking a 2 year program (or 1 year) when i can take a 6 month program and make the SAME money as the 2 year but be doing it for 1.5 more years?"

It is hard to argue with that logic when your trying to pay the rent. Same goes for the FD. People join it for the retirement & money (often better than 3rd service retiirement & money) the respect, (if you work 3rd service with an ALS FD your often treated like a taxi and like crap) and the advancement (there really isnt any advancement in private EMS but in FD you can advace quite easily and make more money).

Its all a catch 22.


Sorry for the rant, but I was frustrated with it when i was there and i feel for you guys now.
 

Jambi

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Mike MacKinnon said:
Add to that the FireDept problem in the USA and you essestially ring the death bell for critical thinking in paramedicine. A smart man knows that he can either do one thing 100% or 2 things with a split of the same. A Paramedic Fireman is splitting his personal resources and it is often to the tune of 90% Fireman and 10% Medic, this is evidenced by the term "FireMedic". What ends up happening is that an individual spends the majority of time learing about fireman stuff and neglecting (or spending little) learing the "WHYs" of medicine.
How many of us have been saying this for years? How many people do you know or know of that became medics just to get that "fire job?" This problem is particularly bad here in So Cal as I'm sure it is in AZ. It's going to be interesting to see what the future holds as fire depts push for more in their continuing need to justify their existence.

Perhaps there is a study out there, or maybe one needs to be done, but I would like to see whether or not having "firemedics " and 3rd service medics actually benefits the patients. I'd be willing to bet that in most scenarios it's actually a detriment to patient outcomes. Of course I can't support that argument except with my own anecdotal experiences working a 3rd service that also responsed with firemedics.
 

f_w

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It's going to be interesting to see what the future holds as fire depts push for more in their continuing need to justify their existence.
Justifying the existence of fire departments as a whole, or justifying the current staffing levels in fire departments ?
(I kind of like the idea that there will be someone available to cut me out of my car if ever necessary, but I do see that at times FDs start generating work for themselves in order to justify toys and staff)
 
M

Mike MacKinnon

Very true.

The fact is that as building codes have gotten better, FD's are not needed to the extent they once were. How often have you seen a major fire in SoCal that they did anything but go defensive on? I cant think of one here in phoenix in recent memory.

In anycase, EMS is the only thing they could latch on to for the massive budget justification. 6 people for one patient usually with 2 medics. Its a joke. It makes sense that as you add more medics to a ride and in an area you then dilute the experience with critically ill patients. Add to this the fact that the average fire response is 6 ppl and you have alot of spinning on scene. I enjoyed the days of me and an EMT and one patient. Seemed to work fine and I had a vested interest in going well beyond cookbook since our team was IT when the crap hit the fan.



Jambi said:
How many of us have been saying this for years? How many people do you know or know of that became medics just to get that "fire job?" This problem is particularly bad here in So Cal as I'm sure it is in AZ. It's going to be interesting to see what the future holds as fire depts push for more in their continuing need to justify their existence.

Perhaps there is a study out there, or maybe one needs to be done, but I would like to see whether or not having "firemedics " and 3rd service medics actually benefits the patients. I'd be willing to bet that in most scenarios it's actually a detriment to patient outcomes. Of course I can't support that argument except with my own anecdotal experiences working a 3rd service that also responsed with firemedics.
 
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leviathan

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Mike MacKinnon said:
I teach one of the 6 month medic classes where i live. I tried to make it 2 year, then tried for 1 year. The response that i got from students was this:

"Why would I bother taking a 2 year program (or 1 year) when i can take a 6 month program and make the SAME money as the 2 year but be doing it for 1.5 more years?"
I agree with everything you said, whole-heartedly. You can really see the differences in education across Canada as well. For BLS training, it is a 1 year program condensed into 3-4 months in my province of BC. In Ontario, it is a 2 year program where they learn a lot more about pathology and clinical decision making. The same holds when you advance to ALS training, where in Ontario they are much better critical thinkers and keep up with research. That gives a lot more confidence from physicians who allow Ontario ALS paramedics to pronounce death (with a patch to the hospital, of course), and other such responsibilities that BC ALS medics don't get. Then again, BC ALS Paramedics won first place in an international paramedic competition a few months ago (where some countries even employ physicians on their units)...so it's not always easy to figure out what system works the best.
 

Jambi

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f_w said:
Justifying the existence of fire departments as a whole, or justifying the current staffing levels in fire departments ?
Justifying current and increased staffing levels. There is a balance and I think that some ems training is necessary (EMT-Basic I feel is adequate) because of the nature of the job. I guess the big question is how much "reaching" is too much?

f_w said:
(I kind of like the idea that there will be someone available to cut me out of my car if ever necessary, but I do see that at times FDs start generating work for themselves in order to justify toys and staff)
me too. Fire and rescue (for the most part), this is solely the domain of the fire departments and I think that is the good thing. Can you imagine a third service showing up with jaws or high/low angle rescue equipment? :laugh:
 

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Actually in a lot of places a third party (SAR team, etc) shows up to handle the high/low angle rescue stuff and in some place there are seperate rescue squads that handle only extrications (Clay County Indiana used to do this)
 

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Praetorian said:
Actually in a lot of places a third party (SAR team, etc) shows up to handle the high/low angle rescue stuff and in some place there are seperate rescue squads that handle only extrications (Clay County Indiana used to do this)
Hmmm, that's interesting. That's what I get for opening my mouth. :p

Are they private agencies dedicated to that or is it a county provided service? Here the fire dept has seperate teams (other than typical firefighters) that handle, hazmat, rescue, ect.
 

DropkickMurphy

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It depends on the area. I know in Clay County (which by the way should NEVER be used as an example of how to run EMS; and this information is from 2000 the last time I ran over there) the Rescue Squad handle(d) only extrication calls and rehab at fire scenes. The VFD's only ran fire calls (except for really time sensitive stuff like codes, etc). Granted that county was seriously jacked when it came to emergency services, but that was from a lack of funding and training for VFD's and rescue (and a crappy series of ambulance services) It just varies wildly.....
 

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I started undergrad with the intention of going the PhD route in microbiology...then I got involved with my local ground SAR team. Many of the others were also members of the local volunteer rescue squad; so after a while, I joined to see what it was all about (they seemed to have so much fun). After running for two years, I decided to get my Intermediate, and apply to med school. I am now ALS, and in my first year at VCOM (didn't even have to leave town), still run regularly with the squad, and work for a transport company. At the moment, I'd like to become an ER doc, and eventually, an OMD for a region.

As for how different areas handle EMS/Fire differently. Here in Blacksburg, VA, the FD only fights fires. All EMS calls, extrications, and technical rescue are handled by the rescue squad (we have an HTRT subset on the squad). As of last year, we also merged my SAR team with the squad, since there were so many dual members, and for increased funding for both parties.
 

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Paramedic2617 said:
Just curious how many of you guys were in EMS and then decided to become doctors?
My involvement with EMS as a volunteer EMT is what led me to change careers in the first place. If not for that, I'd probably still be working for IBM! :eek:
 

Medic Of One

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I'm another who always wanted to be a doctor, but never knew how much until I got on an ambulance, and then really had the fire lit when I started in an ED
 

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1990- Became US Navy Corpsman (most well rounded medical education available..nothing quite like it in civilian world.....no other group of people in the world save maybe 18D SF medics...capable of taking your head of at the galia from 500 yards, yet can sew it back on and save your life as well!! :) )
1990- Field Medical Service School, US Marine Corps, lots of EMS
1991- Took a 3 week full time NREMT-Basic Course
1992- Started EMT-P training, took 1.5 years part time at night
1993-1998- worked as an EMT-P paid and volunteer, Virginia, Texas
1998- graduated from Physician Assistant School, UTMB
2002- started medical school, UNTHSC
2006- graduating in 2 months (yeah baby!!)
June 2006- Starting EMERGENCY MEDICINE Residency!!!!

I'll always be a Navy Corpsman and a Paramedic, as well as a doctor. I love my military/EMS roots and it gave me such a leg up on all training I ever went through after that. OOOOH Rahhh :thumbup:
 

Lexems118

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to be quite honest with you....I'm not sure of where I want to go in the medical field. I have a few hopes which include getting my paramedic or PA or my ultimate goal is cardiology. As of right now I am an EMT on an ALS squad so who knows...
 

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I previously wanted to become a firefighter/paramedic no matter what. I always wrote off the idea of becoming a doctor. I became a paramedic last august. Then late last year it just hit me that I want to continue on into medicine. So I'm returning to ASU where I dropped out of in 02'. And majoring on Biology part time taking summer classes and looking forward to 6-8 credits per semester while working full time as a medic.
I'm looking into the MD/DO route versus the PA one.
I've also been talking to alot of docs and getting much adivce.
 

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Gatewayhoward said:
I previously wanted to become a firefighter/paramedic no matter what. I always wrote off the idea of becoming a doctor. I became a paramedic last august. Then late last year it just hit me that I want to continue on into medicine. So I'm returning to ASU where I dropped out of in 02'. And majoring on Biology part time taking summer classes and looking forward to 6-8 credits per semester while working full time as a medic.
I'm looking into the MD/DO route versus the PA one.
I've also been talking to alot of docs and getting much adivce.
Lookin for advice from Docs, dude?

Take it from an MD with a fire/EMS background.

Go for it.

You can do it.
 

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For anyone here who went from EMS to medicine: did you have to explain to any interviewers what you did in EMS or your scope of practice? I've heard that some people on the interview boards don't have a clue what we do.
 

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Gatewayhoward said:
For anyone here who went from EMS to medicine: did you have to explain to any interviewers what you did in EMS or your scope of practice? I've heard that some people on the interview boards don't have a clue what we do.

It may be necesssary to explain it. Most people have very little Idea of what we do. A friend of mine interviewed at a medical school and was subsequently rejected. He requested, and was granted, a rejection interview. He asked if it was his grades, MCAT, or problems with the interview that got him rejected. The dean told him all of those were fine, and the interviewers all liked him a lot, but he did not have enough "Medical experience." He suggested he spend a few shifts shadowing a physician. He estimates the time he has spent working as a medic at 16k hours.

It seems as if shadowing a few Docs is worth more than an EMS career at some colleges. Of course, it really helps at others...
 

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a_ditchdoc said:
He suggested he spend a few shifts shadowing a physician. He estimates the time he has spent working as a medic at 16k hours.
Doesn't that just make your blood boil? They're saying a premed who shadows a physician for 16 hours has more medical experience than your friend who has been a paramedic for 16,000 hours.
 
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