5 Questions You’ve Always Wanted To Ask An ER Doctor, Answered

According to Italo Brown M.D., a busy ER doctor in California and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at Stanford University, ankle injuries are the most common preventable injury that he’s seen bring people into the emergency room.

Brown jumped onto the Men’s Health Instagram Live this week to answer submitted questions on what it’s like to be an ER doctor. Brown covered everything from why people don’t go to the ER to what he does on a day off. He began his takeover explaining that ankle sprains are especially common in “weekend warriors.” If you play hard on the weekends but spend most of the rest of the week in a chair, take care to give your ankles the conditioning and support they need. “Folks think that they’re the high school athlete they once were,” Brown says. Be a little cautious before you go all out. Rest the ankle if you sprain it. “And if you can’t walk, come to the emergency department as soon as you can,” he says.

Working in an emergency department is one of the most high stress jobs out there. Brown says pressure can come from seeing and treating difficult injuries as well as from other doctors, who all want the best care for their patients. “I have some very collegial conversations with folks that I work with but, it can actually turn into an all out battle to get a patient admitted or have somebody come down and see a patient,” Brown says.

In preparation for those high stress days, Brown says he meditates and uses music to get in the zone. Deep breathing exercises and high-energy sounds can hype him up to make level-headed decisions when it counts. “ER physicians almost thrive in a space of stress and complication. That’s part of the job,” Brown says. “I’m talking about I want some trap music playing to get me ready for the game. I walk through the threshold of those doors and I just know that things are gonna be alright because I got my mind in the right place.”

For more insight into what it’s like to be an ER doctor, check out Dr. Italo Brown’s Instagram Live on our main page.

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