For many people, a hospital emergency room of a hospital is a frightening place where the pace is hectic and lives hang in the balance. But for Dr. Eric Forsthoefel, it’s a realm where lives are saved and where people passionate about medicine can thrive as they pursue exciting careers.
Dr. Forsthoefel has been an emergency room doctor for seven years. After graduating with a BA degree in religion, he decided to switch courses and enter the field of medicine. He earned his MD at the University of Louisville Medical School in 2009 and completed three years of residency at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
Today he practices emergency medicine at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. He is still as passionate today about his job as his first day of residency. He said thrives on the enormous challenge and huge responsibility of saving lives in acute situations. Dr. Forsthoefel routinely handles trauma, fractures, cardiac distress, bruises, cuts and an array of serious medical problems that befall ordinary people every day.
Dr. Forsthoefel said one of the keys to his achieving success in emergency medicine was a quick acceptance of the “chaotic dynamics” of the job. He also understood that superior organization is an ER doctor’s best friend. Attention to detail and excellent organization are the primary elements needed to thrive in an unpredictable and fast-paced environment.
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He is quick to give credit to the other professionals — nurses and technicians — who make an emergency room an effective life-saving operation. Fostering excellent teamwork transforms a naturally hectic job into a smooth operation. Dr. Forsthoefel sums it up succinctly: “Success is rarely achieved alone.”
Along with his passion for saving lives and mending broken bodies, Dr. Forsthoefel said constantly searching for ways to improve the delivery of medicine is a powerful motivator for him. He said he strives to look beyond just injuries and ailments but searches for ways the system can be modified to create ever-better methods of treatment.
Dr. Eric Forsthoefel’s advice for those considering a career in medicine is not to expect instant gratification. He said one needs commitment, heart and the patience to pursue long-term goals.