Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
Name: Kimberly Brown, MD
Specialty: Emergency Medicine
Education: Ross University School of Medicine, University of Florida, Fisk University
Areas of Expertise: Emergency Medicine
Current Position: Emergency Medicine Resident Physician
1. Why did you choose emergency medicine?
Emergency medicine chose me. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor, but I wanted to be an obstetrician-gynecologist. I spent some time in Ecuador as a public health student where I was doing a maternal and child health-focused rotation. I spent some time in the Ecuadorian equivalent of an emergency department and was hooked. I love the pace, unpredictability, the people that you work with, the patients, and being able to treat anyone at anytime.
2. What is the last journal article or piece of research that significantly changed how you practice?
I recently read “Ultrasound use during cardiopulmonary resuscitation is associated with delays in chest compression” by Huis In’t Veld, MA et al that showed that, on average pulse checks with ultrasound were twice as long as pulse checks without. I have started attempting to get a view of the heart way before I stop for a pulse check in order to minimize the length of time of my pulse checks.
3. What are your research interests?
I love critical care, so I have been working on some hospital committees to improve our sepsis quality measures and implementing new processes to increase recognition of severe sepsis and reduce door-to-antibiotic times.
4. Outside of your daily practice, do you have any personal or professional projects that you’re passionate about?
A very long time ago, I spent a lot of time writing. I’m picking it back up these days! Also I’ve been working on a project with some of my fellow Fisk University alumni on a social media campaign #blackhistoryblackhealth. We are making videos and social media posts on interesting Black historical figures who made a difference in health and medicine.
5. What is a common misconception that other clinicians have about emergency medicine?
Emergency medicine has many misconceptions! Some may feel that we just want to “treat ’em and street ‘em” and we don’t care about the nuances of medicine or long term patient management. Most emergency physicians are very aware that what we do in the emergency department can significantly impact patient’s hospital course. We often take the time to do health education and prevention at the bedside.
6. Who are your mentors?
One of my attendings, Mark Brady, MD is an Emmy award-winning writer and executive producer of the documentary 24/7/365: The Evolution of Emergency Medicine. He juggles clinical shifts with outside projects and other mentorship. Somehow he has time to help me work on my goals! Bryan England, MD is the reason why I came to Memphis to train. His energy and enthusiasm for emergency medicine is contagious and he’s dedicated to me grow as a physician.
7. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Growing up, I was concerned that I would never be a doctor because it took so long to actually be one! My mother once told me “if the Lord should let you live, why not go for what you want?” Don’t let the time that it may take you to get to your goal deter you from pursuing it.
8. What has been your most gratifying moment of being a clinician?
Teaching other residents and students at the bedside has been one of my greatest joys. My second year of residency was hard on me mentally and physically, but I distinctly remember teaching one of my interns how to do his first central line. I was tired and stressed, but I walked him through each step of what to do and guided his hands. He got it on the first try! Being able to pass my experience and knowledge I have to someone else is so gratifying.
9. How do you motivate patients to do what’s best for their health?
Most people seem to use healthcare providers as a standard of what should be healthy behavior, so I use myself as an example. Medical school and residency have been tough, with unpredictable schedules and long days. I have not been the picture of healthy behavior! Now I make small healthy choices throughout the day that add up over time. My patients like knowing that I’m honest and that everyone (even their doctor) struggles. However, we can all make small daily decisions to improve our health.
10. What is the biggest challenge or obstacle in emergency medicine?
I think we are still actively educating other physicians, patients and laypeople about emergency medicine and what we do. Emergency physicians are are not trauma surgeons, but we work side by side to save trauma patient’s lives. We are not primary care doctors, but we regularly counsel patients on their chronic illnesses and how to prevent ED visits. I’m not an ICU doctor (yet!), but resuscitating the undifferentiated critically ill patient is one of emergency medicine’s greatest strengths. We are truly Jacks (and Jills) of all trades!
11. On Twitter, you are an active participant of the WomenInMedicineChat. How can women in medicine better support one another?
@womeninmedicinechat is amazing! The Twitter chat is hosted every held Sunday night at 8P CST. It is a deliberate way to have conversations with other women physicians across specialties. I have connected with so many other like-minded women via Twitter and have truly found my tribe. We should continue to support each other by reaching out to other women in other specialties in our workplaces and say hi! By breaking out of our silos and networking we can continue to network, support and build on each other’s strengths.
12. What are your favorite Doximity features and how have they helped your productivity (Dialer, DocNews, Career Navigator, e-Fax, etc.)?
I love e-Fax! I’ve recently begun applying for state licenses and it makes it so much easier to get things accomplished when I can easily send faxes straight from the Doximity website.