10 Things That Absolutely, Positively SUCK About Working in Emergency Medicine.


#10-  We work holidays… All of them. Injury or illness does not take the day off.  Neither do we.

#9- Odor. It may be drunk vomit, soiled clothing, lack of hygiene, gangrene or any combination thereof.

#8- Missed, cold or partial meals. Refer to #10. Most don’t schedule their emergency.

#7- Missed family functions.  We miss birthdays, reunions, anniversaries, first steps of a child, sporting events, recitals and  debates of the ones we love in order to be there for a stranger in need.

#6- Lack of recognition we are still human. We hurt, we love, we breathe and bleed just like everyone else. Some erroneously believe that our calm demeanor under pressure is a sign of either strength or lack of caring. Neither is true. We relive those chaotic situations in our nightmares.

#5- Alcohol or drug fueled aggression. For a multitude of reasons those who offer to help are many times attacked by those they were called to treat.

#4- Bad pediatric calls. The death of a child is something no one should ever have to witness.

#3- Although we really are public servants, some treat us subservient.

#2- Not everyone we treat can be saved. It doesn’t stop us from trying. This is a hard fact for even the most experienced to accept.

#1-  The number one thing that absolutely, positively sucks about working in emergency medicine is knowing those who have never worked in emergency medicine will never understand the personal joy and feeling of accomplishment we have for a job well done.

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