The ER Rotation

ED is a different beast than what I’ve been used to on the floors. Instead of the slow, simmering thought process of a medicine doc this in contrast requires quicker more agile thinking. The past week I’ve been zipping from room to room collecting snapshots of patients, enough to know how to begin treating them or sending them home. I’ve really appreciated the art of the differential the past few weeks and the physical exam skills are extremely practical as a ED doc who needs to eliminate diagnoses fast before moving onto next ones. The RN staff has been fun as well — it true what they say about ED being a team sport.


Some of the highlights so far have included suturing (simples, horizontal and vertical mattresses), and then tons of chest and abdominal pains. It’s so different when you see these complaints for the first time without any workup having been done. Definitely refreshing. I have to admit although I have enjoyed my time here I miss the wards upstairs where the lack of breadth is made up by the time we spend exploring each patient in detail. I’m glad to say that I know for sure that what I have learned in the ED will make me better as a medicine doctor.

Still, I have 2 more weeks to go and hope to focus on the following things:

  1. Perfect my suturing!
  2. See as many EKGs as possible
  3. Hone my physical exam skills
  4. Especially become more comfortable with ear exams
  5. Continue to become an autonomous provider
  6. Hopefully there will be time for lines and intubations
  7. See pediatric and OB GYN cases — probably my last time ever!

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