Emergency Room Physician Education Requirements

Get information on the job duties of an emergency room physician, and find out about the education and training requirements to become one, along with certification, and subspecialty options. Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Prerequisites Are Required?

Emergency medicine (EM) is considered a medical specialty that requires an additional residency or fellowship in addition to your general medical degree. You will need to have completed medical school and your residency before admittance to an emergency medicine program.

Many residency programs will require you to submit an application and go through an interview process before being accepted.

PrerequisitesMedical degree, residency in emergency medicine
Course TopicsInfectious diseases, cardiology, pediatrics, trauma
Job DutiesAssess patients for emergency care, consult with EMTs on incoming patients' conditions
CertificationAdministered through the American Board of Emergency Medicine
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 13% growth (for all physicians and surgeons)
Median Salary (2018)  $170,560 (for all surgeons, general )

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 

What Will I Learn?

You will be trained in a wide variety of medical specialties, including pediatrics, internal medicine, trauma, infectious diseases and cardiology to help you treat different conditions. You will also be trained in a variety of medical techniques, which may include ultrasound, chest tubes and x-ray.

Subspecialties within emergency medicine are also available, such as emergency medical services, hospice and palliative medicine, toxicology, pediatric emergency medicine and sports medicine.

What Does an Emergency Room Physician Do?

An emergency room physician works in an emergency environment, such as an urgent care facility or a hospital emergency room, to assess and treat patients who may be critically injured or sick. You will be well-versed in most fields of medicine, allowing you to deal immediately with most issues and know when to send a patient to a specialist. You will also work with emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to direct a patient's care before they ever arrive at the emergency room.

Because an emergency physician does not have any patients of their own, you will see a wide variety of patients on a daily basis, allowing you to work with different problems and various challenges.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

After you complete your residency in emergency medicine, you can choose to become certified. Certification is handled by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Because an emergency physician has no patients of their own and typically do not own their practice, there is more flexibility compared to other medical positions. This offers you some additional career options, such as working in third-world countries, ski areas or cruise ships.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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