UCONN Emergency Medicine Interest Group

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Resident Spotlight: Felix Pacheco

In INTERVIEW on May 7, 2011 at 8:42 PM

Interview with Dr. Felix Pacheco, PGY-1, UCONN Integrated Residency in Emergency Medicine

Where did you attend medical school?
SUNY Downstate.

What initially made you interested in EM?
Prior to medical school, I volunteered as an EMT, so that was my initial exposure. The initial triage, the acuity level, and the “rush” were things that were appealing to me. I kept an open mind and explored different options but I was always most interested in Emergency Medicine. EM felt like home.

Why the UCONN EM program?
A couple of things. Being from NY, it’s not that far. Patient volume, acuity level, and diversity are good. In the ER you see people from all walks of life. You see someone that is decently well off, and then you see a homeless person who needs help. You have social issues, and I don’t like that as much, but it adds to the complexity of the patient population. You see a lot of blunt and penetrating trauma at the program. With every EM, you get to deal with true emergencies and get a decent amount of that here.

What do you like to do do outside of EM?
Work out. Hang out with fellow residents. Go down to NY. Hang out with family and friends. Try to get as much sleep as possible.

Do you think that having a life and EM are compatible?
Definitely. We don’t do call. We do shift work, and during that shift, you’re doing a lot and running at 100% capacity during your 10 hours, but once you’re done, you’re done. That’s not like other areas of medicine where you have 24-hour call, but there’s some downtime. The patient load isn’t as high, although you go into a lot more detail with each patient. The nature of the ER is that you often only get the tip of the iceberg with the patient. That’s also the drawback of the ER- you CAN follow up, but you often don’t get to. EM makes for better compatibility between work and life. And besides- we are cool.

What advice do you have for medical students who are interested in going into EM?
Try to get the exposure. If you’re interested, make sure you’re interested. Do it because you like being there. You should like multitasking, efficiency. If you have problems doing more than 3-4 things at one time, then it might not necessarily be a good fit. Do something that will give you the exposure and find an advisor in the field, or do research in it. I think exposure is the key.

Any tricks of the trade?
Don’t bank on diagnostic imaging. If the history and physical really point to something, an X-ray is not necessarily going to rule it out. It can rule things in, but there are limitations to imaging. Same thing goes with labs. Always keep that in mind.

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