Reflections on 30 Years in Emergency Medicine

Jack Davidoff, MDBefore he became a physician, Jack Davidoff, MD, an Emergency Medicine physician at Finger Lakes Health in Geneva, NY, wanted to be a veterinarian. While finishing high school, he began working with local ambulance services and eventually became an EMT. He was soon accepted to veterinary school, but, realizing that what he really wanted to do was practice medicine, he turned it down. Now, after 30 years as an emergency medicine physician, he looks back on his career with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment and at times disappointment.

Dr. Davidoff reserves a lot of praise for his residency training in family medicine. (The program allowed for training in pediatrics and geriatrics and even subspecialties such as ENT, rheumatology, orthopedics and ophthalmology.) When he started his medical career, he says, regulations were different, permitting him to see far more patients than today’s residents are allowed to see, but he credits the long hours and huge caseload with making him a better doctor. Spending his third year of school in Great Britain gave a different perspective on medicine that he says continues to influence his practice today.

Technology has changed the way physicians practice emergency medicine, he says. For instance, all records used to be on paper, and to get his patients’ lab results, he would have to pore over lines of handwritten information in each lab several times a day. Also, X-rays were all still on film, and to obtain the right X-ray, he would have to sort through several stacks of film. By contrast, in today’s ER, both of these tasks take seconds to complete.  However electronic health care records have caused many delays and frustrations and continue to be less efficient in a busy practice.

Because he was not residency-trained in emergency medicine, Dr. Davidoff was ineligible for certification with the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). Facing limitations to his practice, and with many hospitals requiring their emergency medicine physicians to hold board certification, Dr. Davidoff turned to the Board of Certification in Emergency Medicine (BCEM).

Since earning BCEM certification, Dr. Davidoff has worked at hospitals that are committed to providing quality emergency care and fully recognize the BCEM. Rather than focusing on the business and politics of medicine, BCEM is steadfastly dedicated to the advancement of emergency medicine through exceptional care, research, and education. Backed by the BCEM and his vast ER experience, Dr. Davidoff believes he practices the specialty more successfully and with more expertise than his colleagues who have completed an emergency medicine residency.

Dr. Davidoff has been an educator locally, nationally and even internationally.  He has held several positions on national organizations including President of the Air Medical Physicians Association.  He has been the Regional EMS Medical Director for 4 counties and numerous EMS and Fire agencies.

Emergency Medicine has changed as have all the other specialties over the past 30 years.  Not all the changes are good.  Emergency Departments are filling the void as Primary Care becomes scarce in some areas. Substance abuse has increased significantly along with all the medical and social problems associated with such abuse.  Violence in the ED has increased.  However, there is still a need for Emergency Physicians that work well in these situations.

The ABPS of which the BCEM is a Member Board, would find it hard to disagree. Our highly skilled and accomplished Diplomates practice emergency medicine at respected hospitals across the United States, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Through the BCEM, we offer certification in emergency medicine to qualified physicians who have completed a primary care residency. To learn about the BCEM’s eligibility requirements, contact the ABPS today.

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On October 18, 2007, President George W. Bush released Homeland Security Presidential Directive 21 (HSPD-21), calling on our nation, among other initiatives, to “collectively support and facilitate the establishment of a discipline of disaster health”. It is a great testament to the wisdom and foresight of the American Board of Physician Specialties that it immediately set to work and created, within the short span of only one year, an educational blueprint and set of certification examinations, both written and oral, for a new subspecialty of disaster medicine—and it is why I chose to be part this vital initiative and this wonderful organization. This is but one of the many innovative programs initiated by the American Board of Physician Specialties over the years, and why I am proud to support its work on behalf of our nation’s public health.

Art Cooper, MD
Disaster Medicine
When the American Board of Physician Specialties offered to host the American Board of Integrative Medicine, ABPS became a landmark organization working to move medicine into the twenty first century. Certifying physicians who have completed rigorous academic training in Integrative Medicine ensures that the field of Integrative Medicine will continue to develop academically, clinically, and professionally. The leadership of ABPS continues to impress me - they are diligent in constantly innovating to provide certifications for physicians who want to advance their careers and their areas of expertise. I am honored to be a part of this organization.

Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Integrative Medicine
There are many ways board certification advances a physician career. ABPS Board examination verifies your accuracy, precision, and reflects your mastery of your residency training verifying your expertise. ABPS Board certification demonstrates your level of expertise beyond your practice experience, primary education degrees, and training which are necessary for insurance reimbursement and practice privilege requirements. Attaining your ABPS Board Certification will clarify your purpose, secure your practice growth, and expand into leadership positions. Board certification can serve as an indication of a physician’s commitment to medicine, beyond the minimal standards and competency of training, their measurement to quality of care, and attaining an award for excellence.

Chris Kunis MD
Internal Medicine
When I think historically, advancement in medicine and patient safety and care has been driven by the diversity of people and scientific thought. That’s what I found at the ABPS and more. For over 60 years that is just who we are. I found a physician certifying body that provides a choice and voice to all physicians ensuring that patients are always placed first.

Jerry Allison, MD
Emergency Medicine
When I decided to pursue a full time role as a physician executive it was important to me to obtain additional professional training, education and work experience. Board certification through the ABPS in Administrative Medicine is validation of my efforts and a demonstration of dedication to professional development. We need more physicians to become full time health care executives, knowing there is a board certification option in Administrative Medicine encourages physicians to take the leap from full time clinical practice to healthcare organizational leadership.

Richard Paula, MD
Administrative Medicine
The American Board of Physician Specialties has provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of internal medicine through board certification. As a hospitalist, board certification is an expected credential, and hospitals recognize the American Board of Physician Specialties (ABPS) as one of the three standard credentialling bodies for Internal Medicine. Additionally, the ABPS has helped me develop leadership skills as a Board member and Committee Chairperson. ABPS has also helped me sharpen critical thinking skills as a test question developer and reviewer. The Allopathic (MD) and Osteopathic (DO) physicians in the ABPS are lifelong learners and frequently pursue multiple board certifications. I enjoy the camaraderie of my peers in ABPS.

Loren Jay Chassels, DO
Internal Medicine