Emergency Medicine in the United States is at a breaking point.
Emergency Medicine News published an editorial recently by Dr. Edwin Leap, an Emergency Physician living in South Carolina. Dr. Leap writes an article that could have been written by any person working in any of the many Emergency Departments in the United States. You can read the full article here .
In the article Dr. Leap discusses how those in Emergency Medicine are manipulated and used by "evil" people who work the system in an attempt to get free housing, free food, and/or narcotics. He also discusses how the government and other groups in medicine abuse the Emergency Department, using it as a means of working up patients to be admitted or as a place to initiate the latest bureaucratic policy.
Emergency Departments around the country are overrun by patients and understaffed. Doctors and nurses working in our nation's Emergency Departments are expected to save the lives of critically ill patients while soothing the egos of the unsick waiting in line for a bed. Patient outcomes have been replaced by satisfaction scores as the means of evaluating caregivers, and good men and women are being driven out of the specialty by burnout, injury, lack of appreciation, and abuse (both verbal and physical).
I appreciate Dr. Leap's honesty and hope that policy makers are listening. For those unsung heroes slogging it out in our nation's Emergency Departments, thanks for your efforts.