Image of meeting of Emergency Medicine interest group

Drs. Howard Greller, Ethan Abbott, Marianne Haughey, Ernest Patti and Nicholas Avitabile, all attendings with the emergency medicine faculty at SBH, joined with EM residents Drs. Sanchez and Robison (from SBH) and Drs. Singh and Brown from the neighboring Jacobi/Montefiore emergency medicine residency, to provide Sophie Davis/CUNY Medical School students with their first ever Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) meeting.

The physicians shared their experiences and knowledge with a group of about 45 Sophie Davis/CUNY medical students, most in the Sophie Davis program class of 2017 and some in their MS1 year of the CUNY medical school. The session, lasting more than two hours, grew out of an interest expressed by the students during their physical diagnosis course.

The topics addressed were wide ranging; the residents discussed how to prepare for applications and interviews and choosing a specialty. The fellowship-trained faculty (Drs. Greller and Avitabile) discussed the opportunities EM provides in consideration of further training and different practice experiences. Dr. Patti, well known to the students as a member of the faculty, discussed the many roles he had taken on during the course of his career. Drs. Abbott and Haughey shared their perspective as faculty involved in the educational side of running a residency program. All panel participants shared the stories of what they liked the most and least about the field.

Positives included meeting many people, continuing to serve patients at their perceived greatest moment of need, the ability to continually learn at all points during their career, the diversity of practice options (especially when considering the options afforded by fellowships), and the opportunity to make intense, albeit often brief, connections with patients. Negatives included working weekends and overnight, and the challenging environment – due to the emotional toll, intellectual challenges and the fact that the ED is often the place in the hospital where the failures of social support and healthcare are most visible.

The residents were interested in stories from the clinical side of the emergency department as well as hearing how each of the panel members had come to the decision that this was the field that captured their interest. Many students stayed after the panel ended, and expressed interest in continuing an ongoing club to arrange for more meetings.