Career Development

Physician specialty: Emergency medicine


Whether you’re a medical student considering a specialty, a resident or fellow, or a practicing physician, the American Medical Association is here to help with information, resources and continuing medical education (CME) for emergency medicine.

Membership brings great benefits.

  • Thousands of CME courses from AMA Ed Hub™
  • Coding guidance with CPT® Assistant
  • Unlimited access to the JAMA Network™

Emergency medicine focuses on the clinical decision-making and actions needed to prevent death or further disability in patients in the prehospital and emergency department settings.

Physicians in emergency medicine provide quick evaluation and care for acute illness and injury in adult and pediatric patients. There is a high percentage of time spent in direct patient contact, with the potential for immediate impact on the patient’s health.

Emergency medicine physicians treat patients from all walks of life, with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries at all stages. They can quickly assess a patient’s condition and perform simple to complex procedures to treat them.

Although emergency medicine can be stressful at times, these residents and physicians have significantly lower working hours overall than most other specialties, with greater flexibility in scheduling their shifts.

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Following medical school, three to four years of specialty training in emergency medicine is required prior to certification. Additional training may vary for subspecialists in emergency medicine depending on their focus.

In 2023, the average emergency medicine physician salary was $385,554*. The average resident/fellow salary was $60,046.23+.

If you’re a medical student considering an emergency medicine residency or a current resident looking to change programs to emergency medicine, these were the top 10 most-viewed residency programs in emergency medicine in 2023 from FREIDA™, the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database®.

  1. University of Alabama Medical Center Program  
  2. Denver Health Medical Center Program 
  3. Creighton University School of Medicine (Phoenix) Program 
  4. Rush University Medical Center Program 
  5. Emory University School of Medicine Program 
  6. University of Connecticut Program 
  7. HCA Florida Healthcare/Aventura Hospital Program 
  8. Midwestern University GME Consortium/Kingman Program 
  9. Cook County Health and Hospitals System Program 
  10. Mount Sinai Medical Center of Florida Inc Program

For practicing physicians in emergency medicine, the AMA Ed Hub provides a deep selection of CME options to help keep skills and knowledge current, at home or on the go. Earn as much as 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ from these popular courses for starters.

No matter where you are in your career, stay current on the latest research and findings in emergency medicine with content from the JAMA Network™.


*Doximity 2023 Physician Compensation Report

+FREIDA Specialty Guide