Specialist Physicians

Emergency Doctor

Jeff, 28, is an emergency doctor in the Kingston, Ontario area. He did his bachelor's degree in health studies at the University of Waterloo, and attended medical school at Queen's University for four years to become an MD. He is currently halfway through the five-year emergency medicine residency program.

Stephanie: What made you decide to become an emergency doctor?
As long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a doctor. I picked emergency medicine as my specialty because I find it exciting and stimulating. I like many areas of medicine, but I couldn't see myself seeing the same problems over and over again. In the ER you get to see patients with all kinds of problems, and you often get to see them first, before another doctor has diagnosed the problem. This means that I get to try and figure it out myself.

Stephanie: What kind of an education did you get to be an emergency doctor?
I went to university for four years to get my bachelor's degree in health studies, then to medical school for four more years. Now I'm halfway through the 5-year residency program to specialize in emergency medicine.

Stephanie: What do you like about your job?
I like the variety of patients that I get to look after. As an emergency doctor you can be called upon to treat any kind of problem that people can have, from minor things like colds to life threatening things like major car accidents. I get to see little babies all the way up to the elderly. Another fulfilling part of the ER is that I often get to fix the problem -- putting a cast on a broken bone, sewing up a laceration or treating somebody's migraine -- and I get to see the results right away.

Stephanie: What is your least favourite part of the job?
When I have to tell somebody that their loved one has died unexpectedly.

Stephanie: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming an emergency doctor?
Make sure you're going into medicine because you love it. Relative to the amount of work you do, you don't make a lot of money, and it takes a lot of time and effort to get to the end of the training. If it's going to be 'just another job' to you, it's probably not worth the years and hassle.

Stephanie: What's your favourite colour?

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