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15+ Year Member
Mar 17, 2004
From the ED forums, just to share these gems: ("Incorrect statements about EM"):

DocWagner said:
Intellectually challenging is relative.
Ask a general surgeon to reduce a shoulder...painlessly.
Ask a internest to run a trauma.
Ask a pediatrician to treat a 20 year old.
Ask a trauma doc to treat heart failure.

I do all of that.
Jeff698 said:
I suspect that's because 'cerebral' has been defined by people who hang out on the floors endlessly pontificating about lab values and doing nothing. Of course, the few times I've been a babysitter, I tried to come up with things to think about, too.
jazz said:
agree. people who criticize EM as not cerebral do so because they already have the diagnosis. of course, the diagnosis is made in the ed.

i still am confused why people don't think EM is cerebral since most of the diagnosis is made in the ED, and if not, we've ruled out the catastrophes. i suppose it's a view point thing -- severe anemia presenting as sob.... i suppose sending iron studies to work up anemia can be considered cerebral but not for me.
Don't you love ED docs? :laugh:


I hate arguments like these. There are specialties because there's only so much each of us can learn and retain reliably, or so much we can expect to be able to do (there are only 24 hours in a day, after all). I don't give a damn if ED docs are worried about not being viewed as "cerebral," and I definitely don't care about their half-assed bits of "evidence" to prove that they are cerebral. Maybe the ones who put up the less tactful quotes should wonder why the heck they get so defensive about it. We're all perfectly intelligent people (except that one guy in my class...), so can't we all just get along?

Oh, and my other beef: "thinking" is not the same as being "cerebral" And I'm not just playing semantics, I don't think.


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There's one thing you can't ask an ED doc to do.....spell "internist" correctly.

Fantasy Sports

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5+ Year Member
Oct 28, 2004
Its interesting because a lot of the ER docs at my school on faculty are awesome and are probably some of the best around (and I mean that as overall academic medicine accumen)

But with the new generation, its many (but by NO means all) of lazy students who couldn't match into the lifestyle specialties that are doing ER.

So if you thought things were bad before, wait about 5 years for some of these guys to be in the clinics. Then all hell will break loose.


Keeping it funky enough
15+ Year Member
May 3, 2004
Attending Physician
Let me start of by saying I will be doing ER, that being said they cant do everything. I worked with an attending and he didnt know what vent settings to place for a patient so Gas came down and yelled at him. ER docs arent perfect but in my opinion they do a good job of ruling out life threatening conditions and working triage. My opinion is that all specialties including ER and IM have an overvalued sense of what they do (dont even get me started on surgeons). We are all little parts in the huge scheme of medicine.