Emergency medicine is a model for unity

How do you define yourself? How do you describe yourself? In the past, I have tried to avoid immediately categorizing myself by my profession. I always agreed with The Little Prince: “Grown-ups love figures … When you tell them you’ve made a new friend they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?” Instead, they demand, “How old is he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?” Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.”

And yet, we do this constantly. Physicians especially love to divide ourselves into groups. Each group has its own characteristics. Most of those reading this (but not all) are emergency medicine (EM) docs (ER docs if you’re older), also known sometimes as “pit docs.” There are internists, or fleas. Surgeons, or cutters. Anesthesiologists, or gas passers. Pediatricians, or pediatrons. Radiologists, or shadow doctors. Orthopedists, or carpenters. (I kid!) This is a natural division as our specialties are our big, nerdy fraternities and sororities. They are the places we learn to make our living, establish habits of thought and behavior, create world-views and life-long friendships.

For the full article, please visit Emergency Medicine News.

Edwin Leap is an emergency physician who blogs at edwinleap.com and is the author of the Practice Test and Life in Emergistan.  This article originally appeared in Emergency Medicine News.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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