Before I started residency I had never heard of EMTALA which stands for the Emergency Medical Treatment And Labor Act. This is a HUGE deal in EM. For those who don?t know an unbiased summary goes something like this: any patient, regardless of ability to pay, must be given a medical screening exam and if an emergency medical condition or labor exists they must be stabilized to the ability of the facility. If they require additional treatment they can be transferred. The biased summary is everyone now has a right to free medical care in the ER and woe be it to the physician and hospital that doesn?t toe the line on a poorly defined and Byzantine group of bureaucratic red tape. If you (or your triage nurse or whoever) lets someone leave the ER without a medical screening exam or proper stabilization you face fines that start at $50k. This is not covered by malpractice insurance. Horror stories abound. Is anyone getting any info on this in med school? Are future docs tuned in at all to how much of a problem this is?