Get an advisor.
Don't try to climb the mountain on your own.
This is key especially during medical school as you navigate through the mounds of reading, paperwork, options, and pitfalls. If you are interested in Emergency Medicine (EM) as a career, that means getting one or several great EM advisors. Don't rely on non-EM faculty to give you any insight into EM. Inevitably, I have found that they give incomplete or slightly skewed perspectives about the pros and cons of EM.
What if you don't have an established EM residency program or established EM faculty at your school?
Be proactive in finding an EM advisor. Sometimes that means looking outside of your school. That's what a medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, soon-to-be Dr. Rick Pescatore did. We conducted a Google Hangout with the EM Interest Group where I got to field insightful questions about EM. I was at home and the students were in a classroom. Another student in the library actually linked into our Hangout partway through. The Hangout allows for up to 10 link-ins. The video and audio worked seemlessly!
Check out Rick's account of this cool approach to advising on his blog LittleWhiteCoats.
For those looking for e-Advisors in EM, I'm working with a team, lead by Dr. Megan Fix (Utah) and Dr. Rob Cooney (Conemaugh Health Systems), who are almost ready to launch the massive program in 1-2 months. Keep a lookout for it. There will be a list of available faculty, their academic affiliation, and their interests. You can select whomever you want.
This is just my first (of hopefully many) adventures in G-Advising using Google. Here is a video on Google Hangouts.