Medicine & Meaning: Thoughts on Change

Anoop Kumar, MDEver notice how quickly things can change in the ER?

One minute things seem to be well under control, the next minute several alarms are going off, three nurses are asking for you simultaneously, and there no inpatient beds available. How’d that happen so quickly?Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents, Future of Healthcare, Life in the ER

U.S. Acute Care Solutions and MEP Health Announce Partnership


Third Physician Group Joins USACS as Momentum Continues

CANTON, Ohio & GERMANTOWN, Md.–U.S. Acute Care Solutions (“USACS”), a national leader in emergency medicine and hospitalist services, today announced a partnership with Maryland-based MEP Health, an emergency physician practice that serves nine facilities across three states in the Mid-Atlantic region. MEP Health is composed of 130 board-certified emergency medicine physicians and 110 physician assistants and nurse practitioners who provide care to more than 500,000 patients annually.Continue Reading >

Posted in MEP News

A five-step ACEP15 action plan for job seekers

Fowler, Chesney MD SOMD FTWhether it’s the first time you’ve attended or you’ve experienced that four-day long whirlwind in the past, the reality is this: ACEP is a multi-day scientific assembly like no other. There are a lot of informative classes to attend, great people to meet, top-notch dinners to enjoy—and drinks every night. And this year, ACEP takes place in Boston—one of the country’s oldest cities—which has some of the best eats and architecture!

Still, as recent grads and residents, you should also consider ACEP a four-day interview for your next job. It’s a networking opportunity that you should take seriously.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents

Former CMS Administrator Thomas Scully Says Physicians Groups Well-Positioned to Take Advantage of Changes in Healthcare

Thomas Scully speaks at Observation Care '15

Former CMS Administrator Thomas Scully speaking at Observation Care ’15.

One of the principal architects of Medicare Part D had an interesting message at Observation Care ‘15: the future of healthcare is for physicians, not hospitals.

Thomas Scully, who was the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2001 to 2003, said yesterday he thinks the current trend toward hospital and health system consolidation won’t turn out well.Continue Reading >

Posted in Future of Healthcare, The Shift

Four Rules for Bed Assignment In An Efficient Hospital

Robbin Dick HeadshotEditor’s Note: the following is an excerpt from Dr. Robbin Dick’s forthcoming book on Hospital Capacity Management. Dr. Dick is MEP’s Director of Observation Services. He will be speaking on hospital capacity management and other subjects at MEP’s third annual observation medicine conference, Observation Care ’15.

Bed assignment often sets the pulse for the entire hospital, affecting every patient and every department from minute to minute, yet is often poorly managed. Continue Reading >

Posted in Observation Care, Quality, Efficiency, Utilization

Code Black and the Changing Culture of Emergency Medicine

Russell Max Simon Headshot“The romance isn’t gone. But it’s definitely going.”

That was the verdict from Dr. Patsy McNeil, MEP Health’s Director of Patient Satisfaction, as we discussed the documentary film Code Black at a recent Leadership Academy meeting.

The film chronicles a handful of emergency medicine residents training at one of the busiest emergency departments in the country, Los Angeles County Hospital. More than anything, the film documents a changing culture in emergency medicine. At LA County, that change is embodied by a 2008 move from the old hospital building to a new one.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents, Future of Healthcare, Life in the ER

Lessons From My Last Hospital

Anoop Kumar, MDWhen you work with a team of great people for several years, you grow together. You learn together. You succeed and fail together. I had the opportunity to be part of a such a team in the ED for the past several years. A couple weeks ago I moved to a new hospital, which has given me time to reflect on the team I was part of for so many years.

It was my first gig after residency. When I interviewed for the position almost five years ago and walked through the ED, I could tell it was quirky place. There’s a feeling you get when you walk through an ED. Everybody can feel it. It either feels like things are running smoothly or it doesn’t. There’s no mistaking it. Surely it can change hour to hour, but that’s beside the point. Every ED has its own feel. And this place felt… quirky.Continue Reading >

Posted in Hospital Partnership, Life in the ER

Tips for Landing Your First Job as an Emergency Physician

Fowler, Chesney MD SOMD FTLucky you

There are twice as many jobs as their are physicians to fill them. As a new graduate, you don’t have experience, but you’re well-trained and you show up every day with enthusiasm. You are a hot commodity.

Just because you are well-trained as a physician, though, doesn’t mean you are an expert job-seeker. In fact, many emergency emergency physicians come to regret their first choice of employer out of residency, leading a significant percentage to embark on another job search all over again after a few years on the job.Continue Reading >

Posted in For Residents

The APP Residency: A New Program for Rural Emergency Departments

Amit Kalaria (July 2013)As the Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, I love that I get to make a difference in the lives of my patients and colleagues every day. But it’s not easy.

Cumberland sits at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s a gorgeous area, with plentiful hiking, skiing, fishing, and other outdoor activities. The downtown is charming and historic. Over the years, the city has served as a military outpost led by George Washington and even been dubbed “The Gateway to the West.”Continue Reading >

Posted in Quality, Efficiency, Utilization, The Shift

The Two Types of Thinking Which Physicians Use in the Emergency Room

David Klein headshotThere is a natural tension to decision-making in the Emergency Room. In a busy ER with multiple patients to assess and keep track of, it can be difficult to dissect every patient’s complaints and make clinical decisions both quickly and effectively.

Emergencies, by definition, must be dealt with fast. For this, whether they are fully aware of it or not, emergency physicians rely on their intuition, informed by their experience and education. In a book on how people process information called Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman refers to this kind of intuitive decision-making as System 1 thinking.Continue Reading >

Posted in Quality, Efficiency, Utilization