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The SAEM eNewsletter, distributed to members of SAEM via email, is a short bi-monthly update on current important emergency medicine issues and recent SAEM activities. It is published in alternating months with the bi-monthly SAEM Newsletter.

SAEM Resident eNewsletter November 2012

by Jen Swanson | Nov 01, 2012

Greetings from SAEM!

I hope you had a good fall season and that you can spend time with friends and family during the upcoming holidays. It is amazing that we’re already approaching the halfway point of this academic year!

Although it’s not yet 2013, there are several deadlines in the next few weeks for the 2013 Annual Meeting in Atlanta. Keep reading for details on how to apply for SAEM committees or the Board of Directors. 

If you’re approaching the end of residency and are thinking about jobs, take a look at our Resident Resources on the SAEM website, including our guide on strengthening your CV.

We also have an interview with Barbara Katz, a national expert on the EM job market, whose advice can help prepare you for job interviews and reviewing contracts.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a wonderful 2013! 

Brandon Maughan, MD, MHS
Brown University / Rhode Island Hospital
Resident Member, 
SAEM Board of Directors

Abstract Deadline for 2013 Annual Meeting

Working on a research project?  Submit an abstract for the SAEM Annual Meeting!  The meeting is May 14-18 in Atlanta, but the deadline is just days away!  The abstract deadline is Wednesday, November 28, at 5:00 p.m. Central time.   Find more details and submit your abstracts on the SAEM website.

When preparing your abstract, keep in mind that SAEM has an extensive peer review process for abstract submission. Each submission is evaluated on:

  • Hypothesis and objectives
  • Study design
  • Methods: measures of validity based upon the type of study (controlled clinical trial, prospective cohort, retrospective chart review, systematic review, survey, basic science etc)
  • Methods: sample size and reliability based upon the type of study (controlled clinical trial, prospective cohort, retrospective chart review, systematic review, survey, basic science etc)
  • Statistics
  • Conclusions/Results
  • Presentation
  • Impact

Board of Directors applications for 2013-14

Nominate someone (or yourself) to serve on the SAEM Board of Directors!  Every year, a resident is selected to serve a one-year term on the Board.  Candidates must be a resident during the entire term on the Board (May 2013-May 2014) and should demonstrate evidence of strong interest and commitment to academic emergency medicine.

The Nominating Committee will select a slate of nominees based on the following criteria: previous service to SAEM, leadership potential, interpersonal skills, and the ability to advance the broad interests of the membership and academic emergency medicine. 

The deadline to submit a nomination for the Board is December 7.  Residents applying for the Board of Directors must also submit a letter of support from their residency program director – so if you’re interested in applying and haven’t requested a letter of support yet, make sure you do so today!

The Board of Directors application form and other details can be found on the SAEM website.

Want to be More Involved in SAEM?

Interested in networking with the rising stars of academic emergency medicine? Apply to serve on an SAEM committee! 

Don’t worry if you haven’t had major previous involvement in SAEM – working on a committee is a great way to learn more about the organization, develop an area of professional interest, and meet colleagues from around the country. The deadline to submit an application isMonday, December 3, at 12:00 p.m. Central time. 

Submission deadline: December 3, 2012 5pm (CST)

Alan E. Jones, MD
University of Mississippi Medical Center

Most of our annual planning for the SAEM year, which begins each May, occurs during the winter months. An important component of this is the development of realistic objectives for our committees and assignment of special needs projects to task forces.

The committees have an essential role in determining how well SAEM progresses in our mission each year. The work each year focuses on a number of specific objectives. Although ultimately assigned by the President-Elect, these objectives are developed by soliciting ideas from the entire membership, as well as current and prior committee chairs and members. The Board of Directors reviews these assignments to assure coordination and resource allocation appropriate to each task.

Task Forces (TF) are unique entities developed by the President-Elect in cooperation with the Board of Directors to address a specific focused issue in a timely manner. SAEM relies on task forces to deliver recommendations to the Board or produce a time sensitive product for the organization. A task force usually accomplishes its objectives within one to two years from inception.

Why Should You Become a Committee or Task Force Member?

  • You believe in SAEM’s mission statement: “To lead the advancement of emergency care through education and research, advocacy, and professional development in academic emergency medicine.” 

  • You wish to assist in defining the future practice of your specialty. The academic mission is a special and unique pursuit, critical to the future of our specialty and the patients we serve. We are responsible for training the next generation of EM clinicians and academicians. We define the future practice of our specialty through the work of our members, both with SAEM activities and at our academic institutions.  

  • You have special knowledge/skills or interests in a committee/TF work area. Sometimes more junior members in the Society are afraid to volunteer because they “lack expertise” in an area. However, if you have the time, are willing to do the work, and have a passion for that area, you represent exactly what a committee/TF really needs.  

How Do I Get Assigned to a Committee/TF?

  • First, assess your ability to offer a realistic time commitment. (See Guide for Effective Committees and Task Forces.) Select Committees and Task Forces conduct a substantial portion of their activities at the SAEM and/or ACEP meetings, your attendance will be important.  

  • Second, review the current committee and task force objectives. Where do your interests and experiences lie? What abilities or perspectives might you contribute? (See Document links to Objectives of Committees and Task Forces or the Committee's Home Page.)  

  • Third, everyone who desires appointment MUST complete the online Committee/TF Interest Form which will be available through the SAEM web site in October. Current committee/TF members must use this form to re-apply as well. Remember – committee composition rotates regularly, with approximately one-third of the members turning over each year. This assures that all SAEM members who desire to participate can do so. While invariably disappointing to some members who are not reassigned, this practice has served SAEM very well over the years and is a critical component of individual member development. Reassignment also is influenced by the chair’s evaluation of an individual’s productivity, timeliness, responsiveness and overall contributions.  

  • Finally, when submitting your interest form, please make a brief statement supporting your committee choice in the comments box. SAEM is a large organization, and I unfortunately do not know every member’s skills and talents. While performance record goes a long way for those currently serving, the interest form will be a major factor in appointment decisions for all members.  

SAEM’s mission has never been more critical for the lives of our patient population. We are charged with defining the future practice of EM, both clinical practice and academics. The committees and task forces are central to the mission and goals of the Society. We look forward to your volunteering this year. Thank you for your submission.


Online Resident Resources and CV Handbook
For those residents thinking about life after residency, be sure to check out the Resident Resources webpage for career planning information. The Society has developed a collection of articles for residents on topics pertinent to academic emergency medicine. Many of these articles are from the Academic Resident Section of the SAEM newsletter. Examples of the articles in the portfolio include: planning for an academic career, giving effective feedback, finding a mentor, becoming a researcher and many others.

Also, before you submit job applications, take a look at the Curriculum Vitae Handbook from the SAEM Research Committee. This guide provides helpful suggestions for taking charge of your CV and developing a resource that will be applicable throughout your career in EM.
Pearls of Job Selection and Contract Evaluation for EM Residents

By Aparajita Sohoni MD and Barbara Katz

As 2013 approaches, the annual topic of job selection and contract negotiation comes to the fore. Barbara Katz is a nationally recognized expert on the Emergency Physician job market who has been working with and training EM residents in effective job searching since 1991. Currently President of the Katz Company and a frequent speaker at ACEP and AAEM, here are Barb’s answers to the most common and pressing questions about job selection and contract negotiation.

  1. Barb, how would you characterize the job market that is facing current graduating residents? “This is the most candidate-driven market that the field of Emergency Medicine has ever seen! Currently, there are about 6-7 jobs for every resident graduating nation-wide.
  2. Is there any reason then for current graduates to be concerned about finding a job? “Finding the right job is the issue. A small portion of the thousands of jobs out there are great jobs. An even smaller portion are super jobs. Graduating residents need to be sure of what they are looking for in a job, and evaluate the job opportunities they encounter carefully, to be sure that there’s a match between their needs and the reality of what is being offered”.
  3. How early should residents start thinking about job searching? “If you are a PGY-1, don’t even think about this stuff. Just focus on finishing your first year—that’s hard enough! PGY-2’s should start to think about their life choices. By life choices, I mean the things in their lives that will determine what job they ultimately choose. For example, are you single, without any loans, or do you love to travel; do you find yourself leaning towards an academic career or do you love the clinical aspects of EM? Alternatively, are you married, are schools of great importance, do you have a lot of loans that you want to start paying back, or do you have to live in a certain area? These are the life choices that, if you can define early—as early as a PGY-2—you will set yourself up for a more successful job search, because you will have actually defined what it is you are looking for.”
  4. What should residents who are approaching the job search do to prepare themselves? “You can’t effectively manage the job market if you don’t have a defined set of goals. Without defined goals you are susceptible to indecision and jumping on the wrong opportunity for the wrong reasons.  The variety of job structures, employee models, compensation structures and partnership deals is vast.
  5. What is the best way for residents to determine their goals? Consider doing an exercise called “visioning”. Imagine yourself in 2018.  Where are you, what does the practice model look like?  How much are you earning and via what compensation model?  What have you achieved professionally? What growth potential do you currently enjoy?  The vision represents your goal list and it should be created in 3 categories: location & lifestyle, practice profile and finances. Remember, a goal isn’t a goal unless it’s written down.”
  6. What are the most common ways that residents look for jobs? “Again, it all depends on what you want. If you want to stay in the area, and you live in a highly desirable location, you may find relying on personal connections to get an interview is the only way to go; if that doesn’t work, be prepared to broaden your search area. If you are open to a broad range of job types and locations, you may be searching the web for a job.
  7. Are there any pitfalls of web searching for a job? “I’ve written several articles on this topic! To summarize, the best websites for residents are those that focus exclusively on EM jobs. Make sure you read the entire job listing before considering a position. Be wary of listings that don’t give any real details about the job, or only promise big money and benefits. Make sure you are aware of who posted the job listing, whether employer or a recruitment firm, before offering any of your personal information to them.
  8. Let us move on to contracts—another broad topic. What are some principles of assessing a contract that EM graduates should be aware of? “This is a huge topic. Three things you should look for when evaluating a contract are: 1. Is everything we discussed—the salary, the benefits, the time off, etc—actually present in the contract? 2. Is anything stated incorrectly, or misstated? 3. Is there anything in the contract that could hurt me? This last one can be confusing, but the basic principle is that everything should be equal—if the employer can terminate your contract with 60 days’ notice and no explanation, you should be able to do the same to them”.
  9. What is the most common error that an EM graduate makes when assessing a contract? “The most common error I see is when a recent graduate signs something that they don’t completely understand. You should be given 2 weeks minimum to evaluate a contract. That’s standard across the board. You don’t necessarily need to have a lawyer review your contract if you have read it and feel you understand everything it says; and that’s what your faculty advisors are for!”
  10. Are contracts ever truly binding? “This is very hairy territory as it gets into the ethics of job searching. If you have accepted a job and signed a contract, you are ethically bound in. If you choose to breach that ethical bond, understand that it may follow your throughout your career.  EM is a small community that talks to each other, a lot! The Director you renege on today could be the one you want a job with 7 years from now!
  11. Do you have any pearls of wisdom for EM residents about the actual interview day? “I have many! Remember that professionalism is everything. Employers talk to each other. Customer Service is a huge component of Emergency Medicine; more so than in any other specialty. EPs interact with other medical services, patients and their families on a regular basis.  So strong communication skills are key.  Bring your enthusiasm to an interview; they’ll be looking for it.  Send a thank you note to every hiring authority who interviews you. It’s important to thank them for their time and interest, and to provide them with a time frame for making your decision.  If you keep interviewing, so will they and the longer it takes, the more likely you are to lose the job.  Lastly, once you accept a position, send a note to each employer you interviewed with in person and inform them of your decision, explain why you made it, and thank them for their time and consideration”.
  12. Any final words of advice for our graduating residents? “Use your head, not your wallet, to determine what constitutes real opportunity!”

With that, we wish the best of luck to EM residents entering the job market! It’s a great time to be an EM physician. Look forward to more postings about transitioning to life out of residency in the coming months.

Aparajita Sohoni, MD is Clerkship Director and Attending Physician at Alameda County Medical Center and Highland Hospital, and is a member of the SAEM Resident and Student Advisory Committee.

Barbara Katz is President of the Katz Company, an emergency medicine consulting firm dedicated to providing expert physician recruitment services and training emergency medicine residents in effective job searching.

 If you have any questions or comments about the content of this newsletter, or if you would like to contribute content to a future edition of the Resident Newsletter, please contact SAEM Resident Board Member (2012-2013) Brandon Maughan at