Emergency Medicine

Journey Through the Specialities

Emergency Medicine

These are the doctors you will often see in A+E and they carry out the immediate assessment and treatment of patients with serious illnesses and injuries. Emergency department doctors see a wide variety of conditions and therefore have to be able to adapt to whatever situation is thrown at them and work well under pressure with excellent problem-solving skills.

Sub-specialities within emergency medicine include a dual accreditation with intensive care medicine or paediatric emergency medicine. Emergency doctors are mainly based in hospitals however they also work at the scenes of major incidents, at walk-in centres or within inpatient speciality units. 

Emergency Medicine

Speciality Breakdown

After the foundation programme, there is a three-year core run through training programme which includes six months in each of emergency medicine, intensive care, anaesthetics and acute medicine for the first two years and then the final year focusses on trauma and paediatric emergency medicine. There are also several routes into emergency medicine after you have already specialised in another field such as starting at ST4-ST6 at the start of speciality training. 

– Very challenging so will appeal to doctors who enjoy the challenge of new patients with unknown conditions.

– A very active career – constantly on your feet and moving around.

– Often can offer people with lifesaving treatment and therefore get immediate results.

– Exhilarating and exciting as you never know what will come through the door next.

– Can often be a crowded, fast paced and high-pressure environment so you need to be able to thrive in situations like these.

– Often have to deal with distressed family and friends, particularly if the patient has serious injuries so must be able to balance their concerns with the best interests of the patient.

– There is a lack of continuity of care as emergency doctors are unlikely to see their patients again after the handover to other members of the multidisciplinary team. 

– There are challenges associated with dealing with members of the public who would be better seen elsewhere such as a GP if their injuries are not serious enough however the government is working on campaigning to educate people about this.