EM Collective Wisdom: Alex Koyfman

Author: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK, EM Attending Physician, UTSW / Parkland Memorial Hospital) // Edited by: Brit Long, MD (@long_brit)

1) Why still Emergency Medicine?

Drawn to it because it fit the kind of physician I’d always wanted to be… take care of folks from different walks of life without limitations and when hurdles existed, apply creativity to do the right thing for the patient in front of you. Grew up having traveled extensively, lived in several countries, deeply drawn towards culture and history… what can we learn from each other to improve upon the status quo. Each crevice of the world has something to extract from it.

2) Most impactful case. 

Depends on how you define impact. Those that haunt me tend to be pediatric patients. Those that have most tweaked my practice: anything my colleagues or I have found challenging / could do better.

3) Most important career decision leading to satisfaction.

Taking a leap into #foamed early. emDocs and fostering the development of the core group. Directly impacting our critical field of Emergency Medicine.

4) What does future of EM look like?

Since we have an entrepreneurial / outside-the-box spirit, I think EM will be responsible for more and more within the house of Medicine. Continued development in medical education, simulation, telemedicine, innovating healthcare system, etc.

5) Greatest achievement / why giving back is important.

Connecting with my patients is #1. Incredible how much they trust us with and what we are able to learn about their life stories.

Developing the residents I’ve worked with is a close second. Love tackling different learners and styles; there’s room for all of them to be successful. They reinvigorate my passion for EM.

I hope that a good chunk of my career will always focus on the development of others.

6) Favorite failure.

One of the best decisions I’ve made: knowing/accepting that I will fail. Holding myself accountable in the moment and/or reflecting to elevate my care the next time around.

7) One thing you would change about our field.

We need strong advocates not only for our field but for our individual wellness. Leaders who truly have the back of their whole group of physicians. Too many financially successful private and academic groups, while frontline physicians are struggling quietly and leaving Medicine.

8) Something that you love that has indirectly impacted your EM career.

Reading/writing: one rare tool for physicians that thankfully comes naturally to me.

History/travel: so many lessons learned and more to come…


3 people you’d like to see fill this out

1) Mike Runyon

2) Judy Tintinalli

3) Mike Winters

4) Daniel Cabrera

5) Rob Cooney

6) Anton Helman

7) Walt Green

8) Mike Weinstock

One thought on “EM Collective Wisdom: Alex Koyfman”

  1. Thank you Dr. Koyfman for caring and respecting the patients and the staff you work with. It is always a pleasure reading your articles on emergency medicine. Thank you for sharing some of your wisdom.

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