A Day In The Life: Brian Aldred

This is one post in an going series entitled, “A Day in the Life on an FEC Physician.” Every month one physician from a TAFEC member facility will describe the ins and outs of their profession – highlighting their daily operations, patient interactions, and job-related challenges – in order to paint a better picture of what emergency care in an FEC setting truly looks like.

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Brian Aldred, MD, FACEP
Medical Director Five Star ER

Doctors – You know that gnawing feeling as you are getting ready at 5:00a.m. to go to your shift at the hospital? When you walk in, how many people will say...

“Turn around and run!”

“Thank God, you’re here!”

“I hope you’ve got your track shoes on!”

“We’re 10 deep in the waiting room and there are no tele beds.”

“Can I get an order for more Geodon for Room 2?”

The noble profession of the emergency health care worker – physicians, nurses, technicians, registration – is one of the most important in all health care...in all society. Yet, it is rare to receive accolades for the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into our profession. It is rare to have other physicians or nurses praise your good work. And It is rare for administration to point out the numerous great encounters that occur every day.

Now, imagine walking in on your shift and getting a warm welcome from your team, the same team of providers that you have the pleasure to work with most every shift. The same team of providers that are all working in tandem toward the same goals – providing exemplary service to all patients, making a difference in patients’ lives, and really enjoying doing so.

Imagine most of your patients and families thanking you and your team for your compassionate and attentive care. Imagine your follow up phone calls sounding something like…

“5 out of 5.”


“I hope that I never feel that sick again, but if I do, I’m heading straight to see you!”

Are you dreaming?

No, you are working in a freestanding emergency center (FEC). This is the model that far exceeds the current emergency care model, with satisfied physicians, satisfied nurses, techs, and ancillary staff, and satisfied patients and families.

In an FEC, patients can be immediately seen and cared for. Workups can be efficiently done in less than an hour in many cases, even in highly complex ones. Quality indicators are easily surpassed as you have more time to spend with patients and can pay attention to details. And all of this is done in a warm, inviting setting; one that is comfortable and helps to alleviate patient and family anxiety provoked by their emergency medical condition.

This is the life of an FEC physician. Working in an FEC gives us genuine satisfaction and a sense of worth that can only come from caring for our sick and vulnerable patients.

For us, this is the breath of fresh air in an otherwise smoggy health care landscape.

For our patients, this is a first class seat on an airliner for the price of coach.

Who wouldn’t take that deal?

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