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EMERGENCY PHYSICIANS CHOOSE LIFE ON MEDICINE'S FRONTLINES

 WASHINGTON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A fiery car crash results in serious, perhaps life-threatening injuries. Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel called to the scene attend quickly to the accident victims.
 It is 7 p.m. and as the evening rush hour winds down, the pace inside hospital emergency departments speeds up. No matter what the ailment, from gunshot wounds to late night fevers, split-second decisions vital to every patient's survival must often be made. This is the job of the emergency physician.
 "You have to be able to handle stress ... you must be very goal- oriented, able to focus on solving very concrete problems," says Dr. Georges Benjamin, of Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. "Doing what we do every day, seeing 4-5 acute patients an hour, contributes to the challenge of the job."
 It is this promise of a challenge that is attracting a growing number of medical students to the nearly 100 U.S. residency programs in emergency medicine (EM), says Dr. Gail V. Anderson Jr., vice president of medical affairs at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, and board member of the American College of Emergency Physicians. Anderson's career choice followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Anderson Sr., a pioneer of EM and director of the University of Southern California's EM residency program since it began in 1971. As a result of his efforts and others, EM was recognized as an official medical specialty in 1979.
 Many of the 31 residents who will begin training at Grady Hospital this August, will later move to less hectic community hospital settings, sharing the benefits of their expertise, and exposing them to some of the personal rewards of practice.
 "Emergency medicine offers a real blend of all the areas of medicine. It also allows more freedom in the rest of your life. You work hard while you are there, but you get more time off to do other things," explains Dr. Larry Alexander, a recent residency graduate from Kansas City, Mo., who now works for Medical Center Hospital, a community hospital in Plano, Texas. "Anything can happen anywhere," comments Alexander, and "the ability to make a difference" is an important element sparking interest in EM.
 Finally, the flexibility of EM offers numerous alternatives within the field including administration, toxicology, injury control, cruise ship medicine, working on disaster teams or even directing community EMS systems.
 -0- 7/7/93
 /CONTACT: Michele Kamber of the American College of Emergency Physicians, 202-728-0610/


CO: American College of Emergency Physicians ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU:

LV -- NYCFNS1 -- 8872 07/07/93 06:46 EDT
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Date:Jul 7, 1993
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