How I Became an Emergency Physician

Health Career Pathways
How I became an Emergency Physician
with Dr Kim Hansen

Dr Kim Hansen was initially attracted to emergency medicine because of its dynamic and chaotic environment. She enjoyed organising the chaos of the emergency department and working with a variety of patients, from newborn babies to centenarians. Dr Hansen found it fulfilling to help people get better or provide them with assistance and guidance when they couldn’t be cured. The unpredictability of the work was also part of the appeal, and she dedicated herself to developing the skills required to be a good emergency doctor.

To prepare for this role, the Dr Hansen worked in various specialties, including intensive care, paediatrics, anaesthesiology, general medicine, and infectious diseases. She also served as a board member and Chair for the Emergency Medicine Foundation and contributed to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in numerous ways, such as advancing women in emergency medicine and promoting patient safety and quality.

Dr Hansen acknowledges that emergency medicine can be a challenging field, as it involves shift work and can be emotionally taxing. However, she remains passionate about what she does to continue to contribute to her department, hospital, and the broader field of emergency medicine. Dr Hansen encourages medical students and junior doctors who enjoy working in a fast-paced, unpredictable environment to consider emergency medicine as a career.

Reflecting on her experience and career pathway, emergency medicine offers a broad range of opportunities, from working in a hospital emergency department to pre-hospital care, retrieval coordination, virtual healthcare, and other specialties such as intensive care, palliative care, or sports medicine. Dr Hansen sees emergency physicians as a cohesive group who support each other and enjoy each other’s company, and the field offers great mobility and work-life balance.

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