Emergency Medicine Challenges in Ecuador

Andrés M. Patiño, Santiago Cantillo-Campos, Alexis S. Kearney, Sean M. Kivlehan, Augusto Maldonado

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

5 Citas (Scopus)


Introduction: Emergency medicine (EM) was recognized as a specialty in Ecuador in 1993. Currently, there are two four-year EM residency programs and an estimated 300 residency-trained emergency physicians countrywide. This study describes the current challenges in EM in Ecuador. Methods: We conducted 25 semi-structured, in-person interviews with residency-trained emergency physicians, general practitioners, public health specialists, prehospital personnel, and physicians from other specialties. The interviewer asked about challenges in the areas of emergency care, working conditions of emergency physicians, EM residency education, EM leadership, and prehospital care. We analyzed data for challenges and registered the number of interviewees who mentioned each challenge. Results: Interviewees worked in the three largest cities in the country: Quito (60%); Guayaquil (20%); and Cuenca (20%). Interviewees included 16 (64%) residency-trained emergency physicians; six (24%) residency-trained physicians from other specialties working in or closely associated with the emergency department (ED); one (4%) general practitioner working in the ED; one (4%) specialist in disasters; and one (4%) paramedic. Shortage of medical supplies, need for better medico-legal protection, lack of EM residencies outside of Quito, and desire for more bedside teaching were the challenges mentioned with the highest frequency (each 44%). The next most frequently mentioned challenges (each 38%) were the need for better access to ultrasound equipment and the low presence of EM outside the capital city. Other challenges mentioned included the low demand for emergency physicians in private institutions, the lack of differential pay for night and weekends, need for more training in administration and leadership, need for a more effective EM national society, and lack of resources and experience in EM research. Conclusion: Emergency medicine has a three-decade history in Ecuador, reaching important milestones such as the establishment of two EM residencies and a national EM society. Challenges remain in medical care, working conditions, residency education, leadership, and prehospital care. Stronger collaboration and advocacy among emergency physicians can help strengthen the specialty and improve emergency care.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)284-290
Número de páginas7
PublicaciónWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
EstadoPublicada - nov. 2020


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