Despite the popular success of television shows like "ER" and others depicting the daily drama of hospital emergency departments, young physicians have not been flocking to the field. The authors of a study published this month in Annals of Emergency Medicine state that the number joining the emergency department workforce grew by only 4% from 1997 to 1999 while patient visits grew by 7%.
"Many experts thought the hundreds of hospital emergency department closures over the past decade would shrink demand for emergency physicians," said John C. Moorhead, MD, a study author and past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, "but this study proves otherwise. More patients are being seen in fewer hospital emergency departments, which have had to hire more physicians to meet increased demand."
Mitka M. Emergency Physicians In Demand. JAMA. 2002;288(4):441. doi:10.1001/jama.288.4.441-JQU20007-4-1