Global EM- an incredible conclusion to #DevEM2020

From Human Trafficking to Medicine in Immigration Facilities to Anthropology in EM this is sure to be a fantastic and thought provoking way to conclude DevelopingEM 2020.

Nat Thurtle has once again brought together an incredible faculty to speak on these important issues.

She has written the piece below further outlining the theme of the session, Global Emergency Medicine: Social Science and Narrative in Emergency.

Thank you Nat.


For those of us practicing in Emergency Care, we all know it to be a general specialty. 

Whether you practice in Colombia, in Australia, in Uganda, or in any other place where people come to hospital looking for help because they think they are having an emergency, you may see everything from psychosis to a nailbed injury, from neonatal sepsis to the palliation of an octogenarian, in just one day.

To borrow from the title of one of the session’s talks… ‘All of Life is Here’.

It’s almost 15 years since I first worked in an emergency department, and I still sometimes see things I’ve never seen before. 

I often see things that I know I cannot fix, or things that we can maybe put a bandaid on or give a placebo to, that in reality will do nothing, or nothing beyond short-term relief.

I’m sure you do too. 

And that can feel like a failing, not just of us as individual Emergency Care practitioners, but of the discipline of medicine itself.


If we broaden our ‘generalness’ to engage and integrate with other disciplines, including the Social Sciences such as psychology, anthropology, political science, we can perhaps understand more, not only about what might be offered to patients when there is no straightforward medical option for their presentation, but also about the determinants of their emergency, of their behaviour, and ours. 

We can weave these different inputs into a story, their story, our story, into a narrative.

Narrative Medicine encourages the recognition of patient experience and the psychological dimensions of physical illness so we can develop a more holistic approach.   


In the session this year, we welcome a broad array of incredible speakers with diverse experience.

Caitlin L. Chandler is an investigative journalist based in Berlin who covers migration, security and human rights and has worked extensively in advocacy.  She is going to talk to us about the concept of bearing witness in emergency. 

Dr Hanni Stoklosa is an Emergency Physician based in Boston who will share her expertise on the topic of identifying and managing the impact of human trafficking in the emergency department. 

I will then share some perspectives on the marginal space where Australian doctors are engaging with the health of the refugee population affected by Australia’s offshore processing policy. 

We welcome back Dr Kathleen Thomas, an intensive care doctor, who will share the challenges of attempting to build a grassroots medical advocacy campaign against the deliberate targeting of hospitals in war. 

Dr Darryl Stellmach is a former aid worker/manager who is now a medical anthropologist with MSF. He will talk about his work applying anthropology in humanitarian emergencies with MSF.

And finally we also welcome back MSF doctor and rural generalist Dr Amy Neilson to talk about narrative in humanitarian medicine, perhaps a way that we can thread it all together.


We will also have two panel sessions where we hope to get some discussion flowing and hear about your thoughts on how narrative medicine and the social sciences can feed into what we do in Emergency Care.

I’m super grateful to have the opportunity to curate what I hope will be another fantastic Global Emergency Care session at Developing EM and can’t wait to welcome you to participate in beautiful Cartagena.

Nat Thurtle

More Video Testimonials from Previous Faculty

We have the best faculty in the world- motivated generous experts in their fields one and all.

More have been nice enough to provide a little video testimonial on why they like DevelopingEM.

So Cool.

First we have Kass Thomas an ICU trainee from Australia.

Kass spoke at our 2016 conference on her experiences as an MSF doctor in Kunduz Afghanistan. Specifically she spoke beautifully and bravely about being in the middle of an air attack on the Trauma Centre in Kunduz where patients, colleagues and friends were killed whilst they were being treated or treating others inside a hospital. Her presentation immediately galvanised the audience and spawned the development of the Colombo Declaration and the Stop Bombing Hospitals movement which Kass has tirelessly championed ever since.

This year Kass will discuss some of the challenges of attempting to build a grassroots medical advocacy campaign against the deliberate targeting of hospitals in war.

It is wonderful to hear from Kass as she studies in Sri Lanka and it will be amazing to have her back in the faculty this year.

Thank you Kass for everything.

Next we have Associate Professor Rahul Goswami an emergency physician from Changi Hospital in Singapore.

Rahul spoke for us on some of the practicalities of transporting critical ill paediatric patients during our conference in Sri Lanka. He is a highly respected member of the Singaporean emergency medicine community and we are honoured to have his thoughts on DevelopingEM included in these video testimonials.

Thanks Rahul and hopefully see you soon.


Last but definitely not least is Ant Lewis the Welsh anaesthetic wizard and brains behind i-Simulate.

Anthony and I worked together in 2006 as Retrieval Medicine clinicians in Sydney and he has helped as faculty at our 2012 and 2013 conferences.

In Cuba in 2013 he brought his iSimulates and his big bear and along with Clare Richmond ran an amazing simulation workshop that at the time was ground breaking and thanks to their subsequent work has simply become the standard.

Since then i-Simulate has gone from strength to strength and these days we offer the latest portable simulator devices to our local organising teams because we know what an amazing product they have become.

Ant and his team have always supported DevelopingEM with marketing, promotion and great deals on their devices so that cash-strapped DevelopingEM can get these devices to places where EM simulation has the most benefit.

We will always be grateful for his friendship and support and appreciate his kind words about DevelopingEM.

Thanks again Ant!







EMRAP Emergency Medicine Regional Development Forum at #DevEM2020

In 2018 in Fiji a unique forum was held.

Representatives from 10 regional Pacific nations met, and in an open forum discussed some of the most pertinent issues facing critical care communities across the region.

DevelopingEM simply provided the facilities with the discussion led by regional leaders and experts.

The positive feedback received from regional delegates in regard to the forum has led us to make this component of DevelopingEM events an ongoing one.

In 2020 EMRAP has agreed to contribute to the costs of hosting the forum and EMRAP representatives will facilitate discussions.

EMRAP and EMRAP:GO have unique experience in the region and we are very grateful for their involvement and support.

This year delegates from 10 Caribbean countries have already confirmed their involvement and we hope that regional collaboration will once again be fostered.

The EMRAP Emergency Medicine Regional Development Forum will be an invitation only event hosted on March 8th, 2020 between 2 and 5 pm.

Colombian and Regional Delegate Support Program for #DevEM2020

One of the core ideals of DevelopingEM is the supported attendance of local delegates.

This support has taken different forms depending on the regional context of each conference.

For DevelopingEM 2020 the situation in Colombia somewhat mirrored the EM developmental stage in Sri Lanka  in 2016 with

  • an established and internationally recognised EM society- ACEM – governing the selection of local delegates for each component of the conference
  • all Colombian registrations being complimentary with no individual being invoiced by DevelopingEM

What this will look like in practice will be the complimentary registration of

  • 40 Colombian clinicians to each day of the plenary sessions of the conference
  • 40 Colombian attendees for each of the two social functions.
  • 10 Colombian delegates for each of the four pre-conference workshops
  • 10-15 Colombian clinician attendees to the Regional EM Development Forum

With the assistance of our friends from EMRAP we will also be hosting a Nursing Workshop. This will see the complimentary registration of

  • 16 Colombian emergency nurse clinicians

What we saw with this model in Sri Lanka was that in fact the total delegate attendance number was much higher than the 40 per day base number with different clinicians attending different sessions depending on their special interests.

In Sri Lanka the total number of local clinicians involved in one way or another was 185 and we certainly hope to have at least 100 different Colombian clinicians involved in a similar fashion this year. This could represent a substantial percentage of the total recognised emergency specialists and trainees in the country involved in DevelopingEM.

From a regional perspective we have worked very hard with experts across Central and South America to select a group of emergency practitioners and then support their attendance.

A six month process of multi round invitations was concluded in November.

A total of 38 clinicians from 23 countries were invited to attend with a stratified support program based on country of origin.

14 clinicians responded to our original offers and received either registration discounts, complimentary registration or complimentary registration and travel/accommodation support depending upon their country of origin. Each of these 14 clinicians also received a complimentary workshop of their choice and the opportunity to attend the regional forum.

Unfortunately we have a set budget with limited income streams and so have to place an initial limit on regional delegate support to be financially responsible.

Enquiries after the closure of offers are offered the same same discounted rate on the 3 day conference and social functions as are internationally based trainees. This just about covers our costs and is just over a 50% discount on the international rate. At present 2 regional clinicians are in this group and 1 is seeking assistance with funding from a charitable organisation.

A further 6 regional clinicians are involved in workshop and plenary faculty positions and as for all our faculty they have the option of choosing between zero and 100% of their registration fee.

So in total we have 22 regional attendees on a mix of support packages.

These attendees represent the following countries

  • Barbados
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • Guatemala
  • St Lucia
  • Mexico
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Guyana
  • Nicaragua
  • Cuba
  • Venezuela


  • Haiti

We must acknowledge the direct support of two organisations who this year are helping us with supporting the attendance of our regional colleagues.

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine is contributing to approximately 15% of the total regional support and EMRAP is assisting with travel costs for several of the regional delegates. We remain enormously grateful to these enlightened organisations as each dollar we are save means that we can further expand our support.

Over the years the enthusiasm and expertise of our regional colleagues has been an absolute inspiration to our organisation and in large part it is their impact that keeps us going as a conference organising group.

In the end our international delegates and partners allows this to occur with over a quarter of your fees going towards supporting our regional colleagues.

Ultimately its a joint effort and we think well worth it.

Register now if you want to help bring even more people to #DevEM2020.


An Emergency Nursing Workshop for #DevEM2020

Professor Kate Curtis and her team return to DevelopingEM with a full day Nursing workshop for Colombian nursing clinicians.

This year your donations and registrations are helping DevelopingEM to host this workshop.

Our partners EMRAP are also assisting by bolstering Kate’s faculty with 5 Spanish speaking faculty members.

The team are collaborating with Colombian nursing leaders and our partners the Asociacion Colombiana de Especialistas en Medicina de Urgencias y Emergencias (ACEM) and we remain extremely grateful for their support in hosting this workshop

The first half of the day focusses on the HIRAID emergency nursing assessment framework with the afternoon having a more practical skill based format.

HIRAID is the only evidence based  emergency nursing assessment framework in the world, which is known to improve emergency nursing clinical assessment and communication.

The workshop is an invitation only event being hosted on Thursday March 12, 2020 between 9 and 5 pm.

Thank you for helping DevelopingEM, EMRAP and ACEM host this amazing workshop.


Peter Cameron talks about DevelopingEM

The process of establishing DevelopingEM and organising conferences in areas of the world where our specialties are developing has been an incredible process.

Along the way we have been humbled to meet with and be educated by some of the most incredible emergency physicians on the globe.

Professor Peter Cameron was nice enough to present at our very first conference in Sydney in 2012 and has continued to help and support us ever since.

He has managed our trauma track in Sri Lanka in 2016 and in Fiji in 2018 and this year returns in the same role with an outstanding international faculty.

We remain enormously grateful to Peter and thank him for his kind words about DevelopingEM

Join Peter, his team and the whole amazing DevelopingEM family in Cartagena, Colombia for #DevEM2020.

Register Now!!!

Rolando Valenzuela brings us the Regional EM Track at #DevEM2020

This year Rolando Valenzuela, an expat Chilean from SBU Medicine, leads our Regional EM Track.

Rolando is Fellowship Director of the Stony Brook Division of International Emergency Medicine.

He is a Fulbright Scholar, and worked with Chilean emergency physicians on the development of a mature, regionalised system for trauma care in Santiago.

Prior to arriving at Stony brook he completed a fellowship of International Emergency Medicine at LA County+USC Medical Center.

He has worked and lectured in St. Lucia, Brazil, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Haiti, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Vietnam, and has been working alongside his colleagues around Latin America and the Caribbean to help advance Emergency Medicine training throughout the region.

Rolando is part of our advisory team which has helped us invite leading emergency clinicians from the Caribbean, Central and South America on a stratified system of delegate support based on country of origin.

The result of this advice and 6 months of searching sees DevelopingEM supporting the confirmed attendance of 14 clinicians from the following countries

  • Barbados
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Jamaica
  • Guatemala
  • St Lucia
  • Brazil
  • Peru
  • Nicaragua
  • Cuba
  • Venezuela
  • Haiti

From within this group and with the addition of several expat regionals Rolando has finalised a fantastic group of speakers from across the region discussing their experiences developing emergency medicine and critical care in their home countries.

This group includes

Pablo Aguilera from Chile

Manrique Umana from Costa Rica

Ana Paula Freitas from Brazil

Andrea Dreyfus from Peru / USA

Hector Real from Nicaragua

and Haywood Hall from Mexico / USA.

This is always one of our favourite tracks of each DevelopingEM conference.

Practitioners in “established” systems have so much to learn from developing systems where innovation and appropriate economisation are a huge part of the development of emergency medicine and critical care.

With this team of experts Rolando’s track is sure to be a hit at #DevEM2020

Join us and your regional colleagues in Cartagena, Colombia in March 2020.

Register Now!!

Host Country Track to be a standout moment for #DevEM2020

This year DevelopingEM comes to Colombia.

Two excellent conferences back to back, DevelopingEM 2020 and ACEM 2020 will be on offer for an entire week of emergency medicine and critical care education.

On March 9, the Emergency Medicine in Colombia track will describe the development of EM in the country, the progress of trauma management, POCUS, PEM, EM Leadership and what the future holds for the specialty.

The track will be led by Eliecer Cohen.

Eliecer is the first Emergency Physician graduated in Bogotá, Colombia, from the only 4 year based program in the country.

He is a founding member of ACEM Colombia and a previous secretary of the college.

He remains the editor of the college journal. Eliecer has been an enthusiastic supporter of the DevelopingEM ACEM partnership since the first meeting in June 2018.

He is leading a group of experienced and enthusiastic clinicians from our host country Colombia.


This group includes the following experts.

Fabian Andres Rosas Romero, the current ACEM President

Virginia Zarama

Camilo Gutierrez from Kids National in Washington DC

Luis Eduardo Vargas

and Nathaly Vargas.

Join us to hear from this expert team in Cartagena, Colombia for DevelopingEM 2020 and ACEM 2020.

We hope both events will be a focus for Colombian, Caribbean, South American and international discussion and collaboration between emergency clinicians from around the world.

Register Now for one of the most anticipated educational events of 2020!!

Another awesome Adult EM and Critical Care track for #DevEM2020

Brian Wright and his team bring this years’ conference home with another outstanding critical care track.

Brian has been running this track since 2014 and the only complaint we have ever had is that these sessions have TOO much information.

By providing evidence based strategies and practical pearls Brian’s track are yet another stand out reason to attend DevelopingEM 2020 Colombia.

Brian has once again collected an amazing group of experts including

Chidinma Nwakanma from U Penn

Stuart Swadron from EMRAP and LAC-USC

Jan Schoenberger from LAC-USC

David Wallace from the University of Pittsburgh

Lindsay Reardon from SBU

and Jon Kerr from Wyoming

Together this team will bring you the excellence and expertise for which Brian’s tracks are known.

Join us in Cartagena, Colombia for DevelopingEM 2020 for another quality Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Track!!!