In the nail-biting moments of a tied basketball game, with only 30 seconds left on the clock, each fleeting second feels like an eternity—a sensation that echoes the urgency of the emergency department where Dr. Donovan Miller thrives. Much like the unpredictable nature of a game-changing shot, emergency medicine demands split-second decisions that can profoundly alter the course of a patient's life.

To Dr. Miller, emergency medicine is the "Swiss army knife of medicine," emphasizing, "In a single shift, you may reduce a shoulder, resuscitate a gunshot victim, manage a septic patient, and address a GI bleed." The diversity of cases, coupled with the camaraderie of the team, reinforces his belief that he has found his true calling, stating, "I am very proud to be an emergency medicine physician.".

Early Residency Milestones: Navigating Intubations

Recalling his early days as a resident, Dr. Miller reflects on the first time he intubated a trauma patient. He jokes, "It might have been scarier than when I had to bring my mediocre 7th-grade report card home to my parents.". Supported by his attending Chief Resident, this experience marked a pivotal moment in his career.

The World of Emergency Medicine: Locum Tenens

For Dr. Miller, a career as an emergency medicine locum tenens has provided him with diverse opportunities in different health systems. Beyond additional income, locum tenens offers insights into different practice patterns and patient management, enhancing his adaptability and flexibility when it comes to treating patients. Dr. Miller's strategy for integrating into new locum assignments is grounded in politeness and teamwork, "Although I may not be a part of the employed team, I try to emphasize through my actions that we are still a team. I am here to make my colleagues' jobs easier.".

Dedication to Practicing Medicine: Family Roots, Dedication to Improvement, and Work-Life Balance

Dr. Miller's path to becoming a physician is deeply intertwined with a familial connection to healthcare. Growing up surrounded by nurses, their influence guided his decision to pursue a medical career, recognizing the impact it makes not only on patients' lives but also on the healthcare system as a whole.

His inspiration to keep practicing medicine stems from his dedication to self-improvement and the drive to become a better physician every day, expressing, "Knowing that the doctor I was yesterday could be better today.". The most rewarding aspect of being a physician for him is providing care for patients, particularly those in underserved areas. He emphasizes, "It is important that we try to do more for them so we can reach our goal of obtaining healthcare equity for all.".

When it comes to balancing work and family, Dr. Miller underscores the importance of establishing strict boundaries to spend quality time with family. "The hospitals will always continue to run, but there are certain memories with family that you will never be able to replicate, and it is important that I am there for all those memories.". Working as a locum tenens physician has provided him the autonomy to prioritize these moments, striking a balance between his professional and personal life. By working emergency medicine locum tenens, Dr. Miller continues to make a positive impact on patient care in underserved communities, all while achieving an enhanced work-life balance.

Beyond the ER: Dr. Miller's Pursuits Outside of Medicine

To stay up to date on medical advances, especially in emergency medicine, Dr. Miller subscribes to the EM:RAP podcast and Beckers for general medical news. Outside of medicine, he enjoys working out, playing basketball, spending time with friends, and exploring new restaurants. Post-board certification, he developed an interest in financial literacy, recognizing the importance of securing a comfortable future for himself and his family.

Advice for Fellow Physicians: Continual Learning and Personal Well-Being

His advice for other physicians, residents, fellows, and medical students emphasizes a continuous thirst for knowledge. "Medicine is continuing to evolve, so if you're not keeping up with current practices, you may not be doing your patients justice." He also highlights the importance of having hobbies outside of medicine, sharing, "Do not forget to hit the gym, read your favorite book, or call your mother. Medicine is a tough specialty, and the fast track to burn out from it is to neglect other areas of your life that bring you peace and happiness.".

Interested in working locum tenens emergency medicine? View our open job opportunities here.