The Importance of Having Your EM Fellowship Recognized by the AAEP, According to Marshfield Clinic Health System EM Fellowship Program Director, Dr. Patrick A. Wolf, DO, FAAEP

Dr. Patrick A. WolfFellowship programs recognized by the American Academy of Emergency Physicians (AAEP) help fill the need for emergency medicine physicians with residency training, particularly in more rural, underserved communities.

I felt that the Primary Care Emergency Medicine Fellowship at Marshfield Clinic Health System would be viewed more positively by fellowship candidates if it was recognized by the AAEP. AAEP-recognized programs generate more interest than non-recognized programs. As a result, there is a larger applicant pool, and subsequently, an opportunity to draw top-notch candidates.

Candidates appreciate that AAEP-recognized training facilities have been objectively evaluated by a fellowship/program-recognizing entity, thereby ensuring an evidence-based learning curriculum that meets the educational standards of the AAEP from didactic, procedural, and patient-care perspectives. Ultimately, this enhances the quality of care of any emergency department at which the fellow chooses to practice.

AAEP recognition also allows program directors to detect blind spots in their fellowship curriculum. AAEP site inspectors do a very thorough job of objectively reviewing fellowship programs and curriculums during their site visit and program review. These constructive critiques lead to program improvements that benefit not only the fellows, but also patients who will ultimately receive care from them.

The educational standards and requirements put forth by AAEP assure prospective fellowship candidates that our Primary Care Emergency Medicine Fellowship program offers rigorous, evidence-based fellowship training in emergency medicine. The payoff comes when the fellow recognizes that, at the end of their training, they can stand toe-to-toe with emergency medicine residency-trained physicians, and provide outstanding emergency care in any setting, from a Critical Access Hospital (CAH) emergency department to a level 1 trauma center.

I would encourage any primary care emergency medicine fellowship program that is not currently AAEP-recognized to seriously consider obtaining recognition. Doing so will enhance not only the program’s applicant pool, but also the program itself. Ultimately, this leads to the development of well-trained and well-qualified emergency physicians.

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