How to Become an Emergency Room Doctor

An Emergency Room Doctor is a physician that is responsible for providing immediate medical attention to patients seeking health care services in an emergency room.

These professionals are experienced in working under pressure and treat, diagnose, assess a patient’s health, recommend a treatment, order tests and prescribe medications to the many patients they may see in the emergency room (ER).

Individuals who want to become an Emergency Room Doctor will need to be able to handle the intense demands required from working in a fast paced environment, have the ability to work under pressure as well as be able to focus on providing health care in this type of environment.

Education Requirements to Become an Emergency Room Doctor

Individuals who want to become an Emergency Room Doctor will need an extensive educational background, several years of experience working in an emergency room and a Medical License in order to enter this profession.

In order to become an Emergency Room Doctor, individuals must first secure a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.

Individuals may pursue a science related track such as biology, organic chemistry, cellular biology, human physiology, or pre-med.

A bachelor’s degree also includes a comprehensive educational track that includes classes in mathematics, physics and English.

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After completing a bachelor’s in a science related field, individuals will need to pass the Medical College Admission Test MCAT in order to apply for medical school.

Once an individual has been accepted into a medical school, they will begin a rigorous program that includes in depth knowledge on health and the human body.

Medical programs typically start the first two years with a curriculum that focuses on coursework and gaining some basic laboratory experience.

Some typical courses during the first two years of medical school that individuals take in order to become an Emergency Room Doctor include the following:

  • Immunology
  • Physiology
  • Medical Ethics
  • Pharmacology
  • Anatomy
  • Microbiology

These classes and coursework are then followed up by a more hands on learning environment in the form of clinical rotations.

Some common types of clinical rotations include the following:

  • Orthopedics
  • Psychology
  • Gynecology
  • Cardiology
  • Emergency medicine

During these clinical rotations, medical students will gain experience in working directly with patients to take medical histories as well as performing common procedures under the direct supervision of experience and licensed physicians.

To increase the prospects of securing a job, individuals also have the option to complete an internship within an emergency department before graduating from medical school.

This will give individuals the necessary experience that is required in working in an emergency room full time.

After completing medical school, individuals will need to seek licensure in order to practice medicine.

Individuals may visit the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) website to learn more information about licensure.

In addition, individuals must complete a 3 year residency in emergency medicine.

Emergency Room Doctor Job Description

Emergency Room Doctors are responsible for treating and diagnosing individuals who have been admitted to because of an urgent medical reason.

Some scenarios include life and death situations which require Emergency Room Doctors to work under pressure to diagnose and provide a treatment to save a patient’s life.

Emergency Room Doctors also see a variety of urgent health care issues including heart problems, poisonings, a variety of injuries due to accidents and a variety of other maladies.

This requires Emergency Room Doctors to have thorough knowledge in medicine.

Emergency Room Doctor Salary and Career Path

The median annual income for Physicians and Surgeons, which includes Emergency Room Doctors, was approximately $220,942.

Exact wages will depend on the years of experience, industry and specialization.

Emergency Room Doctors can make upwards to $363,000 per year according to figures from 2012.

The job outlook for Physicians and Surgeons as a whole looks promising because employment opportunities are expected to increase by 18 percent through the year 2022.

This job growth is considered faster than average and is attributed to the expansion of health care related sectors and the aging baby boomer population that results in a demand for health care services.

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