Emergency medicine in Brazil: historical perspective, current status, and future challenges

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Background: Emergency medicine (EM) in Brazil has achieved critical steps toward its development in the last decades including its official recognition as a specialty in 2016. In this article, we worked in collaboration with the Brazilian Association of Emergency Medicine (ABRAMEDE) to describe three main aspects of EM in Brazil: (1) brief historical perspective; (2) current status; and (3) future challenges. Main text: In Brazil, the first EM residency program was created in 1996. Only 20 years later, the specialty was officially recognized by national regulatory bodies. Prior to recognition, there were only 2 residency programs. Since then, 52 new programs were initiated. Brazil has now 54 residency programs in 16 of the 27 federative units. As of December 2020, 192 physicians have been board certified as emergency physicians in Brazil. The shortage of formal EM-trained physicians is still significant and at this point it is not feasible to have all Brazilian emergency care units and EDs staffed only with formally trained emergency physicians. Three future challenges were identified including the recognition of EM specialists in the house of Medicine, the need of creating a reliable training curriculum despite highly heterogeneous emergency care practice across the country, and the importance of fostering the development of academic EM as a way to build a strong research agenda and therefore increase the knowledge about the epidemiology and organization of emergency care. Conclusion: Although EM in Brazil has accomplished key steps toward its development, there are several obstacles before it becomes a solid medical specialty. Its continuous development will depend on special attention to key challenges involving recognition, reliability, and research.




Oliveira J. e Silva, L., Herpich, H., Puls, H. A., Myers, J. G., Schubert, D. U. C., Freitas, A. P., … Penna Guimarães, H. (2021). Emergency medicine in Brazil: historical perspective, current status, and future challenges. International Journal of Emergency Medicine, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-021-00400-6

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