First Year Diaries E01 – Transition to EM Practice

In Podcast by Kevin Junghwan DongLeave a Comment

Today’s episode is to aid new Emergency Medicine staff physicians to traverse through the first few months of their independent practice safely and effectively. As a new physician myself, I had the luxury of having many mentors and colleagues who were gracious enough to help me find my way in providing safe patient care. Additionally, they assisted me on integral aspects that we don’t necessary learn or get exposed to as a resident, such as billing, department flow, and the politics of the ED. However, as a new staff, there are so many uncertainties that you must face alone, and I wanted to find a guide to help me transition more effectively. After not finding something that fit the bill of what I truly wanted, I decided to tackle the issue myself and find colleagues who would help me out with the task of navigating through the First Year of Practice.

Shownotes – PDF Here



  1. Can you please introduce yourself? (name, training, where you work {academic, community, etc}, any other work you are doing {tox, primary care, etc.}).
  2. How is it being a new ED staff physician 6 months into practice?
  3. What has been the biggest difference been so far being a staff vs. a resident?
  4. Can you share an interesting story as a staff? (can be anything – having residents, billing experience, research you are working on etc.)
  5. What is the best thing about being a staff physician?
  6. What are some struggles/challenges of being a new staff physician?
  7. Do you have any billing tips for new physicians? What kind of tips do you have for management of your financial assets? (investments, taxes, accountants, etc.)
  8. Any tips on work-life balance? (wellness, coping with struggles, travel, etc.)

Take Home Points:

  1. Ask questions to fellow colleagues about difficult cases, department flow, and billing. You will need help with the transition to practice so ask the people who have done it before you.
  2. Don’t commit to too many things initially. Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Plan ahead and make sure to find a good balance between work and life.
  3. Find time to learn about billing during your residency. Make sure to have a good feel for it so that once you are staff, you don’t leave money on the table (you deserve it!).
  4. Live like a “resident” and plan for the future. Planning for retirement and finding a good financial advisor and an accountant is pivotal for your future.
  5. Be humble and continue to learn. You will not know everything at the end of your training. Keep reading around cases and develop yourself to become better every day.

Uploaded by Anson Dinh.

Kevin Junghwan Dong

Kevin Dong is an Emergency Medicine physician in Hamilton, Ontario. His interests include medical education, mentorship, and producing video/podcasts. He completed the Digital Scholar Fellowship in 2019 and he is currently the CanadiEM Director of Multimedia.

Anson Dinh

Anson Dinh is a medical student at the University of Saskatchewan, Class of 2021. His academic interests involve ultrasound and simulations. His hobbies include bouldering, journaling, and collecting fountain pens.