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Demand will rise for ER Jobs and Emergency Medicine Physicians

Numbers from 2009 (the last year for which they're available) show ER visits rose by almost 10 percent from the year before, the biggest gain since the government began tracking those statistics. Researchers attribute the increased demand to the fact that more people are uninsured - and thus put off visits to the doctor until their condition is acute - as well as improvements to services and procedures which allow emergency departments to treat patients faster.

For physician recruiters, this trend means an increase in ER jobs and a growing demand by hospitals for emergency medicine physicians. The results were reported at the recently completed annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians in San Francisco.

Emergency medicine physicians contend their specialty is playing a growing role in American health care. They expect their numbers to increase in the years ahead as more ER jobs and rising salaries attract more physicians to enter the field.

However, these physicians are also concerned that the cost of healthcare in the U.S. is rising at least in part because of their fear of malpractice lawsuits. For example, two new studies about coronary patients reveal that emergency medicine physicians' decisions to admit these patients to the hospital - or at least not to discharge them from the emergency department - are motivated to some degree by liability concerns.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, emergency medicine physicians report that fully 92% of the patients they see as part of their ER jobs are truly emergency cases; only 8% were classified as "non-urgent." This suggests that patients were evaluating their conditions accurately before seeking care in the ER.

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