April 2023 Pick of the Month

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An Under-recognized Career in Emergency Medicine


This month’s POTM by Patel and Kessler, The hidden jewel of emergency medicine careers: Why it's time to explore the VA, presents a fresh and perhaps surprising view of practicing as an emergency physician in the Veteran’s Administration. This piece introduces the April 2023 special issue of AEM, which is wholly dedicated to papers emanating from the VA’s annual “State of the Art” conference which focused on emergency care in the ED in 2022.


This concise and interesting introduction to a potential career as a VA emergency physician arrives at a time when people in the formative years of education and training have been influenced by concerns about future demand for employment as an emergency medicine physician. While many would argue that concern will be self-correcting (and others argue it is balderdash), Patel and Kessler paint a picture of VA emergency medicine that reflects their dedication to their patients, and the simple fact that their experiences have led to some good stories. Clearly, their jobs at the VA give them satisfaction.  


The opportunities in the VA health system should be recognized by medical students considering emergency medicine as a potential career, and by emergency medicine residents as well. This concise perspective piece may provide information that could lead a few young folks toward another employment and career option in emergency care.