How to Get a Degree in Emergency Medicine


Emergency medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on acute medical care. The ambulances, emergency procedures and emergency-room activities that we usually see on television and movies are all part of emergency medicine. Providing life-saving and critical care to the injured or unstable is part of the job. Emergency care is also given to patients who are in severe pain and need to be stabilized.

Emergency medicine physicians need to make immediate decisions and take quick steps to prevent any kind of complication, death or disability. This can either be done in pre-hospital settings such as at the scene of the incident or in an ambulance by emergency medical technicians. If you feel you are up for this fast paced and action packed role in the medical industry then you should start right away to earn a degree in emergency medicine.

Importance of Education

Without the backing of academic qualification and training, one cannot expect to be successful in this day and age. Competition is extremely tough and so candidates need to have something that puts them a cut above the rest. This is where educational qualifications play a role in helping a candidate stand out. Recruiters, head hunters and future employers are always on the lookout for resumes that are well decorated with educational qualifications. This is because a degree attests to a student’s hard work, intellect and ability to stay dedicated. So if you wish to make a career in emergency medicine, you need to actively pursue a relevant degree.

Degree Options and Requirements

As with almost all medical fields, education is given prime importance – and emergency medicine is no different. There is absolutely no room for error when it comes to providing emergency medical care – the slightest of mistakes can cost someone their lives.

Formal training in emergency medical care is provided by colleges and training institutes. It is advised that students possess some background in the medical field or the sciences at the high school level. Technical institutes provide formal training in EMT training as well as paramedic training.

Although limited, some colleges offer a bachelor’s of science program in emergency medical training. This is typically a four year program and students are required to have a high school diploma as a prerequisite. Some courses that students may come across during this training include hazmat handling, emergency cardiology, disaster management, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, extrication, and so on.

It is important for aspiring emergency medicine doctors or personnel to enroll in a reputable medical school followed by some specialized training in clinical work in their desired area. This may take anywhere between 4 to 6 years depending on the program’s credit requirements. After medical school, one should look for a residency program in emergency medicine which may last up to 3 years. Here students can learn about various aspects of emergency medicine and go through rotations in various relevant departments. Certification should be the next plan of action for students. The authority here is the American Board of Emergency Medicine.

Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the employment level for EMTs (emergency medicine technicians) is expected to increase by 33% during the period of 2010 to 2020 – this translates to the creation of about 75,400 new jobs. Emergencies such as accidents, natural disasters, road accidents, and violence continue to grow which means that emergency medical care must be provided constantly, hence the increase in demand for all associated personnel. What also adds to this increase in demand is the rise in the average age of the population, along with the provision of elderly care.

Salary Prospects

The average annual salary for an emergency medicine physician is $159,000 ( The average annual salary for Ambulance Drivers and Attendants is $24,900 ( The average annual salary for Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics is $34,370 ( The average annual salary for Paramedics is $30360 ( These figures show the position of the earning capacity of workers in this field.

Salary figures are largely dependent on your level of experience, tenure and the number of cases you have worked on. Salary is also influenced by the demand for emergency medicine personnel in a given city depending on the number of reported incidents.

Further Reading

The resources below will be useful for your research into the field of emergency medicine. Use these resourceful websites to get an understanding of the industry dynamics, educational requirements and career prospects.

Related Reading

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