I love my job. After 20 years as an emergency physician there is still joy in the same things that I loved about the field when I was a student; the challenge of seeing an undifferentiated patient, the team mentality, the satisfaction of really helping people in their hour of need. The fact that I have been able to teach and mentor residents through that same time period is just the icing on the cake.
Residency should give you what you need to be the best physician that you can be. It represents the culmination of a journey that started in college and lasted 8 years. What you learn in residency, the type of physician you become, will set the tone for your entire career. Your job in picking a residency is to pick a place where you can thrive. You should find a program where they have the resources you need and the supportive environment to allow you to be your best. It will be hard work but with the right ingredients you should expect to come out the happy successful physician you want to be.
Creating the best resident educational experience takes an understanding of emergency physicians. They are smart, dedicated, interested in learning with a drive to be the best. They often learn best by doing, so the clinical setting has to contain high acuity patients and a diverse case mix. Good “bedside” or clinical case based teaching is essential. The dedicated educational time should cater to the adult learner. It should consist of constantly changing settings and styles of educational activities with additional online content for the curious. It should also maximize the use of simulation and procedural labs to give the hands on learning that we love.
The community that has evolved at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine emergency medicine residency is the kind that I love. Many different personalities melding into something that is better than its parts. Residency is not like “Survivor” or “chopped”. You can’t get voted off the island. We are all in this together. We take care of each other, we laugh together and we learn.
If you are ever inquisitive and enthusiastic, come and see who we are. I look forward to meeting you. In the mean time, follow the links from the Training drop-down menu above to find out about our residencies, fellowships and student education.
Tom Perera MD
Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine emergency medicine
Associate Chair of Education and Training.