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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 regularly. I have done other career shadowing and have 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 my first and second year, my electives, and my discussions with my mentor, I could 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 a 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 allowed 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 difficult circumstances provides variety daily. 
 
I had been interested in teaching since high school when I began instructing CPR and lifeguarding. I have been a teaching assistant at the university level throughout my post-secondary years and 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 and an Advanced Cardiac Life Support instructor. Recently, I was appointed as a candidate for the position of 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. Emergency medicine is an exciting lifelong learning experience with many options in a field with as much depth as depth.
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 Master's 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 center as a part of a group of physicians dedicated to teaching, research, and solid clinical medicine. One of the main reasons the FRCP emergency medicine program is so attractive is the flexibility of location and career options given to its graduates.
 
My exposure to emergency medicine has allowed me to see firsthand the professional and personal challenges and lifestyle advantages. Since my medical school interview, I have committed to being 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 being conscious of it is essential. 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 rope to work at the end of the day and no on-call services. Although shift work has its challenges with weekend and holiday work, it offers the most significant opportunity for time with your family and 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 in 2003. I am also a regular subscriber to Emergency 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 regularly participated in rounds and journal club in our emergency department where possible while on elective elsewhere.
 
XXXX is 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 that holds this central to the operation of their university would be an honor. Throughout medical school, I have fostered a close relationship with nursing educators and have realized the potential for interdisciplinary 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 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 allowed to study emergency medicine at XXXX.

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