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Transition from ortho to EM

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I am a PA with 14 years experience in orthopedic surgery. I would like to transition to emergency medicine because I’ve always liked it and I think the lifestyle would suit me better at this point. (12 hour shifts, hourly pay). I have not seen any job opportunities in EM that don’t require 2-3 years of experience in EM. 
My question is this: if I can get a job in urgent care, will that help me eventually get a job in an emergency room? 
Or should I just keep looking for an EM job that will take me as is?



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urgent care will help you get a fast track job. A fast track job will help you get an intermediate job. An intermediate job will help you get a trauma ctr job and a trauma ctr job will help you get a good job working in a small, rural, critical access hospital....urgent care to rural trajectory = 5-10 years.

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Alternately, consider an Ortho trauma job, which will expose you to EM and trauma concepts while capitalizing on your Ortho experience. One of my EM preceptors did 10 years in Ortho trauma before transitioning to EM for a better work-life balance.

Background: Out of school, I did 5 years in Ortho trauma at a Level 1, and then I decided I wanted to advance my career before being too far out from training, so I got a rural CTS job. It's been fun and I've been learning critical care, but I miss the excitement of trauma and being 3 hours away from my life sucks, especially since I'm not learning as much as I thought I would. I just interviewed with a trauma group at a Level 1 and am excited for continued growth, a challenge, and something that isn't Mon-Fri plus call.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I did ortho first and then applied to ER.  ER told me to get some UC experience first.  I reapplied to the same ER 2 years later and some how they hired me.  Later on the director told me they weren't going to hire me the second time either, but they remembered I had applied before and gave me an interview to be nice.  They said I was nice enough, seemed teachable, and had done what they asked.  So they gave me the job.  I wish you the best in finding an ER job, I feel I just got lucky!  



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