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Emergency Medicine Residency, Lifeguard

In January of my first year of medical school. I began shadowing an FRCP trained emergency physician on a regular basis. I have done other career shadowing and have since had many clinical clerkship experiences. None of these have been as satisfying as my experiences in emergency medicine. I was given the opportunity for exposure to an approach to clinical problems that I would come to rely on for the rest of my time in medical school. Through both regular shifts in the emergency department throughout first and second year, my electives, and my discussions with my mentor, I was able to see both the exciting challenges and potential frustrations of working in an emergency department.
 
Emergency medicine offers a diversity of clinical problems unparalleled by any other specialty. As a front line physician, one is exposed to everything from orthopedics to psychiatry, from a newborn in respiratory distress to the seventy year old with a cardiac arrest. The emergency department is where people come when they are most concerned, beyond their ability to cope, or after exhausting all (or no) other resources. As an emergency physician one is given the opportunity to help people through some of the most trivial and frightening times in their lives. The approach to some of the most challenging clinical problems in some of the most challenging circumstances provides variety every day. 
 
I have had an interest in teaching since high school, when I began instructing CPR and lifeguarding. Throughout my post-secondary years, I have been a teaching assistant while at the university level and have continued my interest in CPR and lifeguarding. Through a strong relationship with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, I have become a senior Instructor Trainer of Basic Life Support and Automated External Defibrillation as well as an Advanced Cardiac Life Support instructor. Recently, I was appointed as a candidate for the position of an ACLS Instructor Trainer. With this experience, and the vast opportunities for teaching clinical medicine in the emergency department, emergency medicine seemed the obvious choice for me. A field with as much breadth as depth, emergency medicine is an exciting lifelong learning experience with many opportunities.
While it is clear one of my main interests is in medical education, I am also intrigued by the flexibility for fellowship training that the XXXX emergency medicine programs allow. I am interested in the possibility of undertaking a Masters degree in Education during my residency. As well, the opportunity for research and fellowship training in an aspect of emergency medicine or critical care is also exciting. In the long term, I see myself practicing emergency medicine in an academic centre as a part of group of physicians dedicated to teaching, research, and strong clinical medicine. One of the main reasons the FRCP emergency medicine program is so attractive is the flexibility of both location and career options given to its graduates.
My exposure to emergency medicine has allowed me to see first hand the professional and personal challenges while also seeing the lifestyle advantages. Since my medical school interview, I made a commitment to be as devoted a husband and father as I would be a physician to my patients. The balance between my clinical life, my interest in teaching and learning, and my home life is a priority. Admittedly, I think most people struggle with this but to be conscious of it is important. Shift work allows for periods of intense, focussed work while in the emergency department, clearly devoted time for teaching, research, and administration, and at the end of the day one leaves work to go home. There is no tether to work at the end of the day, and no on-call services. Although shift work has its own challenges with weekend and holiday work, it offers the greatest opportunity for time with your family and for other areas of academic interest.
I understand what the academic specialty of emergency medicine is all about as much as anyone can at my level of training. In addition to my roughly 200 hours of emergency shadowing shifts in my first two years of medical school, I had the opportunity to spend fifteen weeks of elective time in emergency medicine. I am a student member of CAEP and EMRA and have recently attended a CAEP conference in Winnipeg, 2003. I am also a regular subscriber toEmergency Medicine: Reviews and Progress, and Emergency Medicine Abstracts allowing me to get a jump start on exposure to the evidence base of emergency medicine. I have participated regularly in both rounds and journal club in our own emergency department where possible and while on elective elsewhere.
XXXX has a reputation as a leader in problem-based learning and many other areas for innovation in medical education. It is clear from both this letter and my Curriculum Vitae that one of my primary interests is, in fact, medical education. The possibility of studying at a school which holds this central to the operation of their university would be an honour. Throughout medical school, I have fostered a close relationship with nursing educators and have realized the potential for inter-disciplinary education in many settings. XXXX values this in many ways. To complement its stellar and innovative undergraduate medicine program, it has an excellent reputation for educating emergency physicians ready for both an academic and clinical career.
I would bring to XXXX a clinically strong, dedicated learner who looks forward to the challenges of an emergency medicine residency while striving for a balanced career. I hope I am given the opportunity to study emergency medicine at XXXX.

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