New Docs on the Block – ED

Author: Nikki Abela / Codes: CMP3, HMP3, SLO7, SLO9 / Published: 06/02/2018


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Welcome to the ED.

Home of anything and everything. Here you will see the well, the unwell, the scared and the alone.

You may want to laugh and cry all in the same shift. But remember, you will never be alone. Ask. Learn from others. Be outside your comfort zone and pick up the next card where you don’t know where to start.

You’ll make some great catches; you’ll miss some serious diagnoses. It’s all about risk management and weighing pros and cons of investigating symptoms further.  Remember ‘first do no harm’.

You will learn to move on from one patient to the next – even the ones that rattle you inside and the ones that make you want to cry – always greet the next patient with a fresh face and “what can I do for you?” attitude.

The time you spend in the ED is largely what you make it. It is a great place to learn as you will always be surrounded by people to teach you. If you are interested in subspecializing in emergency medicine, make yourself known to the senior doctors early, so that you will get plenty of opportunities doing “core” A&E stuff.

The ED is the place where you will learn to manage your time well. Learn to multitask and find ways to see patients quicker – you will find that the time spent writing takes long so do try to write while taking a history, and cut down the time spent between one patient and the next. Think about the ED mindset – our goal is not to get the diagnosis right every time (that helps!) but to manage the symptoms, and the risk.

In return, you will find that you should always leave on time – give good handovers and you will get the same back.

Remember, you are working as a team – if the department is busy then everybody should be working at a faster pace, including you. The same goes for when the department is nicer – everyone should benefit and try to make these times about doing things and seeing patients that interest you.

Working shifts may be tricky at first. Your body may take time to adjust (Read these tips on how to prepare and survive nights by St. Emlyn’s), but try to see the positive sides of your rota – for example you will have rest days off during the week, when going shopping or to the bank isn’t so busy, and working evenings during the winter may mean you get more time to enjoy the daylight hours. Looking after yourself is very important, and don’t forget to do it – it’s so important, we’ve written a blog on it!

Get the best from your rest,” as the St.Emlyn’s team say. You may feel exhausted a lot of the time, but make the most of the time you’re not at work. Go out when you can, and connect with the others working the same hours as you.

We hope you enjoy your time in the ED as much as we enjoy being part of the fab team that works there.

We have collected these blogs to get you started, but have plenty more on the site for those of you who want to take their learning further. The fab team at St.Emlyn’s also have a super induction set for you all to learn more. Our monthly podcasts can be downloaded from iTunes/any android podcast player, and are an efficient way of staying up to date.

Some of our authors here are part of our new contributors team, and we hope you will agree with us that they’ve done a fab job in writing these topics.

In the next few months we hope to have a starter pack for those of you starting in Paediatric Emergency Medicine – so keep your eyes peeled for that. We might do an “induction part two” iBook, and we’d love to hear from you what we should put it!

In the meantime, we hope you find these helpful, and that you realize the ED is your oyster – open her up to reveal her pearls.

The RCEMLearning Blog team


  1. iqbalj says:

    Every New Dr should read
    I always teach them on induction to learn from RCEMlearning

  2. Lorraine Apps says:

    A very useful resource for new doctors to the ED.

  3. abouzeida357 says:

    very useful

  4. Sophie says:

    I am glad that these resources are available for the newcomers. It teaches them a lot but is also fun and will make their ED experience so much better!

  5. Anil Medagam says:

    Useful information for EM doctors

  6. Dr. Kevin Sushil Dev Prabhakar says:

    Every line is very true.

  7. ilavalal4393 says:

    very useful for new starters, I always signpost our juniors to RCEM Learning

  8. Dr Steve Kulimushi says:


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