Emergency Medicine Collective Wisdom: Compton Broders

Author: Compton Broders, MD, FACEP, FACP // Edited by: Alex Koyfman, MD (@EMHighAK) and Brit Long, MD (@long_brit)

1) Why still Emergency Medicine?

It is still fascinating since in essence it involves all of meaningful medicine.  It is the no “BS” specialty.

2) Most impactful case. 

In my career I have had many.  Perhaps at the top of the list is the one for which I was tried for malpractice.  It was a case of missed head injury in the early CT days.  It went to the Texas Supreme Court.  The case is titled Broders v Heise.  It was a very tough time.  Great colleagues (physicians and nurses) and a supportive family sustained me.  Other haunts include a delayed sepsis death when I was an intern.  Another mistake as a resident was a missed occult spine injury in a schizophrenic patient.  Another mistake was a failed airway resulting in death.  Another was a death after a medicine prescribed by me.  This was impactful because a persistent medical examiner showed that my care did not cause the death.

3) Most important career decision leading to satisfaction.

Going into EM despite many physicians counseling against this.

4) What does future of EM look like?

Very bright.  I used to think that EM was narrow.  This is far from the truth.  Preventive emergency medicine, (preventive) EMS, EM cardiology, post acute care, critical care, telemedicine, toxicology, sports medicine, palliative care, etc.  EM tends to go where the need is.  How cool!

5) Greatest achievement / why giving back is important.

Probably the John A. Rupke Award from ACEP.  EM, at its core, is a relationship business with all of those implications.  It is also a learning specialty essential for the future of medicine.

6) Favorite failure.

See #2.  However favorite thinking error is hindsight bias in evaluating emergency care.  Many specialties have this problem.  EM occasionally succumbs.

7) One thing you would change about our field.

This is a broad question.  However, better communicating with the specialties vital in the emergency arena.  Part of this is to understand and be proficient in the emergency aspects of their literature.  Cardiology, Trauma, Hospital Medicine, etc.

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

I love interacting with people and building organizations.


3 people you’d like to see fill this out:

  1. Kurt Kleinschmidt
  2. Diana Fite
  3. Arlo Weltge

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