How Do I Become an Emergency Physician?

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  • Written By: Nicole Long
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The path to become an emergency physician requires dedication and a decent amount of education. In addition, emergency room physicians are required to go through internship and residency programs and as well as seek licensure. An individual hoping to become an emergency physician should also be compassionate and work well under pressure.

Emergency room physicians treat individuals who arrive at a hospital’s emergency or trauma unit. They handle patients who come in after car accidents, falls and other traumatic injuries. Emergency room physicians also take care of patients who arrive complaining of chest pain, illness and other complications and symptoms that stem from various conditions, diseases and ailments.

An individual hoping to become an emergency physician must attend college and take the necessary coursework related to the career path of emergency medicine. This includes obtaining a bachelor's degree. An individual hoping to become an emergency physician may pursue a bachelor’s degree in science or mathematics; however, some choose to pursue degrees related to social sciences or English.

After earning a bachelor’s degree, an individual hoping to become an emergency physician will need to gain admittance to medical school. Acceptance into medical school is competitive and often requires candidates to take an aptitude test. Medical school typically lasts four years and consists of classroom instruction, laboratories and clinical rotations.


Completion of a residency program is necessary for emergency physicians. The first year is often spent rotating through the various specialties available in medicine, such as obstetrics and gynecology. Those interested in emergency medicine will complete the remainder of the residency, typically lasting a total of three to seven years, focused on emergency medicine.

Licensure is required for an individual hoping to become an emergency physician. This often includes a general license to practice medicine and an additional license, or certification, to practice in a specialty, such as emergency medicine. An individual hoping to become an emergency physician will need to stay current on trends in the field and renew licenses as required.

An individual wanting to become an emergency physician should also possess some important personality traits and skills. These physicians should be compassionate and demonstrate kindness in all patient and colleague interactions. In addition, emergency medicine specialists need to work well under pressure and be confident in their abilities. Emergency medicine professionals also need to understand and utilize computer programs and software to help keep patient records and maintain patient safety and privacy.



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