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AAEM issues strong Statement on Preserving Educational and Career Opportunities for Physicians

November 8, 2023

The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) reiterates its commitment to preserving educational and career opportunities for physicians in emergency medicine and all related subspecialties including Ultrasound. Recently, the decision by the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship to accept a nurse practitioner into its Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Accreditation Council (EUFAC) program has sparked controversy within the medical community.

AAEM firmly opposes the admission of non-physician practitioners into fellowship programs that are traditionally designed for physicians. While the Academy fully supports continued education for all healthcare professionals, all training must be commensurate with the qualifications held by the trainees. Emergency Medicine fellowship programs assume the fellow enters the program with the combined knowledge of medical school and completion of an accredited Emergency Medicine residency program. Incorporating learners who do not possess these prerequisites could severely compromise the education provided. The decision to include a nurse practitioner in the UPenn Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship diverges from the Academy’s policies emphasizing the critical role of rigorous physician training and education in emergency medicine.

In unequivocal terms, the Academy condemns this decision and calls for it to be reevaluated by UPenn’s Department of Emergency Medicine. Additionally, we call on EUFAC to examine the impact of this decision on continued program accreditation. Furthermore, we urge institutions nationwide to uphold the educational standards vital to the advancement and sustainability of Emergency Medicine as a distinct specialty.

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