iSimulate comes to the party AGAIN!!

In 2006 I met an enthusiastic Welsh anaesthetist, Anthony Lewis, whilst working together in an aeromedical retrieval job in Sydney.

13 years later I continue to work with Ant but in quite a different collaboration.

In 2011 whilst Lee and myself were just thinking about DevelopingEM, Ant and his team were well on the way into a commercial space with the ground-breaking medical simulation company iSimulate.

Right from the word go Ant and Peter McKie from iSimulate were supportive of DevelopingEM and Ant has been a member of our faculty in Sydney and Havana.

In 2016 Ant and Peter facilitated a much discounted simulation package for our colleagues in Sri Lanka which continues in a purpose built facility in the National Hospital in Colombo.

This year the iSimulate team have come through again with a cut price REALITi simulation Eco System for our colleagues in Fiji.

Our Fijian colleagues elected for a small registration charge for local delegates attending DEM2018 and it was with these funds that the iSimulate device was bought.

The new device was presented by Ant to Mafa Vakamocea (Director of the Fijian Organising Committee for DevelopingEM 2018) and will be handed over to Arveen Maharaj (Fijian member of the faculty for DEM2018) for use in Suva in clinical simulation and educational settings.

The device is accompanied by the usual excellent backup and support services offered by iSimulate and will be an educational tool for years to come.

Im a bit biased but I think many of you will agree that the iSimulate range of devices are amongst the most amazing pieces of simulation kit that has been developed in the last 20 years and we are very excited with the prospect of being able to expedite the delivery of such a wonderful device to our enthusiastic EM team in Fiji.

Thanks to Ant, Peter, Mafa, Arveen and Anne Creaton for making this happen.

With the second successful collaboration of this type with iSimulate, DevelopingEM has now made the future provision of iSimulate equipment to host country teams a standard part of our memorandum of understandings with the teams.

So an iSimulate for Colombia is now confirmed for 2020.

Join us in Cartagena to meet and learn from an equally enthusiastic team.

The wonderful connected world of DevelopingEM

On the eve of the release of a registration ready website for #DevEM2020 Colombia we look at the interconnected beauty that is DevelopingEM.

This mind map is trying to demonstrate how DevelopingEM has connected people around the globe.

By connecting individuals and organisations we have seen so many unexpected positive effects.

These effects have been varied and wonderful and include everything from new friendships to mass movements.

Some of these effects are demonstrated in this mind map.

Clicking on the links in the map further explains the specifics of some of these connections.

If you know of more connections we should add please let us know.

DevelopingEM Photos

DevelopingEM 2018 Fiji was an awesome event and our delegates captured the conference with some awesome photos.

Check out even more here

If you have great photos of your own send them to us and we’ll upload them to the collection.

In just a few days you will be able to register for #DevEM2020 Colombia in beautiful Cartagena.

Expand your own photo collection with us in 2020 and come out smarter as well.

Revisiting the Colombo Declaration

Why the World Needs the Colombo Declaration

On day one of our recent Fijian conference, the following powerful video was presented to our DevelopingEM audience.

YouTube Link

It poignantly describes why as an organisation we are passionate about this issue.

Why health care workers, from physicians to nurses, pharmacists to pathologists, from cleaners to security staff, and also patients and their families should never be a target of violence.

Building a base of support for the Colombo Declaration is now part of our mission.

Once we can demonstrate that individuals as well as important medical bodies such as ACEM, CENA, ANZICS, ACEP and RCEM support the Declaration then we can approach politicians at all levels with numbers they understand and respect.

Already many individuals have approached local, state and federal health, defence and foreign affairs authorities and politicians so there is a groundswell of support and knowledge that is developing.

EM is a global movement and we are in a unique position to become a meaningful independent global voice for health care workers on this issue.

Read in full: The Colombo Declaration

Get involved:
How you can influence the cause

1. Sign the declaration

2. Ask your colleagues and national professional bodies to publicly sign and promote the declaration.

3. Contact your local and national political representatives and bureaucrats until they are sick of hearing about the Colombo Declaration.

4. Arrange a showing of the video at your grand round or teaching meeting.

5. Share the link to the video and the online version of the Colombo Declaration encouraging people to sign on your personal and professional social media accounts.

YouTube Link

QR code to the online declaration (scan with a QR reader on your smart phone/tablet):

You will ultimately be recognising and supporting health care colleagues and patients around the globe who are at the epicentre of this problem putting their lives at risk every day.

In many cases this situation is occurring in previously stable and advanced countries with previously outstanding health care facilities.

This dynamic demonstrates that this problem could, in the right circumstances, visit every one of us, even in our seemingly strife free communities.

Help us help you have a voice.

Sign the Colombo Declaration today!!

Check out the presentations from Fiji to get a taste of what to expect at #DevEM2020 Colombia

Many of our delegates return again and again to our conferences.

Jo Unger from Berlin has proof- he collects the wrist bands and has been to all five of our international events.

Many of these return delegates commented that the presentations in Fiji were the best ever.

We cant have favourite conferences of course but we have to agree the presentations in Fiji were pretty amazing.

It was certainly the most naturally comedic group of presenters we’ve ever had.

Our Fijian and Pacific faculty showed everyone how it was done- smart, subtle, informative and funny.

Its hard to pick the highlights so why don’t you just check out all the presentations here.

As you can see there is also a link to Kass Thomas’ moving Colombo Declaration related video. Its a reminder to sign the Declaration. Simply scan the following QR code for the link.

#DevEM2020 in Colombia will bring the same core topics

  • Adult EM and Critical Care
  • Trauma
  • Paediatric EM and Critical Care

as well as

  • EM in Colombia
  • EM in the Region

so once again there will be fantastic presentations across the whole spectrum of topics relevant to the senior clinician.

The ACEM Scientific Congress that follows DevelopingEM is highly regarded in the region and many of of our faculty will be contributing to the event.

If Fiji, Sri Lanka, Cuba and Brazil are any guide #DevEM2020 will be another amazing collaborative event.

You can check out all of our previous presentations here and we hope to see you in Cartagena, Colombia in March 2020.

DevelopingEM 2020 Colombia!!

This week we announce our seventh conference will be in beautiful Cartagena de Indias in Colombia from March 9-11, 2020 with prehospital workshops on March 7-8.

For this event we are honoured to be partnering with the IFEM recognised Asociacion Colombiana de Especialista Emergencia y Urgencias (ACEM).

ACEM will be conducting their annual Scientific Congress sequentially with #DevEM2020 on March 12-14.

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.

DevelopingEM will be sponsoring the attendance of 40 Colombian clinicians per day to #DevEM2020 as well as attendances at the four workshops currently planned. We also hope to assist the attendance of clinicians from around the region.

Colombian speakers will be part of the DEM faculty and we hope to provide the same support for the ACEM Congress.

Colombia has a rapidly evolving and growing emergency medicine community and we are very excited to be partnering with such an enthusiastic group of clinicians. (link to Christian’s article if approved).

In consultation with our Colombian partners we have decided to hold the conference in the amazing Caribbean port city, Cartagena de Indias.

Cartagena is not only one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America, but also the home of multiple UNESCO listed world heritage sites.

The incredible Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, a city landmark at the heart of Cartagena’s historical downtown area, will be the venue for both conferences.

We hope you can join us for what will be another fantastic event with the potential for collaboration and ongoing interaction that has been the cornerstone of DevelopingEM.

DevelopingEM 2018 Fiji wraps up

Dear Colleagues, DevelopingEM Delegates and Faculty,

Well another DevelopingEM event has come and gone and we would just like to thank you for your enthusiastic support in making DEM2018 Fiji a conference to remember.

We hope you agree that it was an amazing event and we hope the relationships made during the conference will continue to grow and develop in the years to come.

Our conference model does not work without your registrations as these, as you know, are our main funding source.

This model means you are all an integral part of the DevelopingEM team and responsible for the process.

We, as the management team, will be forever grateful for your support.

Although the breakdown of your registration charges was presented at the conference I think it’s important to remind you, as members of the team, of the breakdown of your contributions as well as what these funds allowed us all to achieve.

For a full delegate paying $AUD1700

  • $AUD887 went towards venue costs and I’m sure you will agree that the Intercontinental was a magnificent Fijian setting for a Pacific conference
  • $AUD338 went to administrative costs including outsourced event management, insurance, legals, college fees and merchandise (there is no payment to the medical management team)
  • $AUD117 went towards planning meetings both in Australia and Fiji
  • $AUSD43 went towards marketing
  • $AUD15 went towards IT support
  • Most Importantly $AUD300 went to supported attendance of regional and local delegates at the conference and workshops

This local delegate support was offset by a small local registration fee for the 75 Fijian attendees, however the 12 regional delegates you supported attended free of any charge. (2 regional delegates were supported by Aspen Health and 2 by the ACEM Foundation).

All of the Fijian and 12 of the regional delegates received $AUD100 per day of attendance to assist with travel and accommodation to the conference.

All the regional delegates had flights provided by the combined efforts of DEM, SPC, ACEM and Aspen, with SPC contributing further subsidies to 10 of the regional delegates.

Your support allowed 71 attendances at various workshops by local and regional colleagues, with many attending more than one workshop.

In summary you have all achieved a great deal both in an immediate and long term sense and the feedback from local and regional delegates has been overwhelming, and very heart warming.

We have reasons as a group to feel just a little proud of our collective achievements and once again we would like to thank you for your support.

There are a few other things we need to mention before we let you get back to your busy lives.

Conference Presentations
There were many requests for copies of the conference presentations. We hope to have all the presentations and video uploaded to our website soon. Our previous conference presentations can be found here.

Conference Photos and Videos
We decided to limit our costs this year and did not employ a professional photographer. If you have great photos and are happy for us to put them online either send them to us or upload it via Facebook.

Staying in Touch with other Delegates
Without pre-approval we cant release our delegate details but if you are happy for us to make your contact details available for other delegates please let us know and we will create a 2018 detail database.

Probably the easiest way to stay in touch would be through our Facebook and Twitter Pages. Feel free to join us here, upload your photos from the conference and post your thoughts. The instant messenger services on Facebook and Whatsapp are great ways to communicate as well.

Thank you’s

There are so many people to thank but chief amongst those are our Fijian Organising Committee without whom this event would not have been possible.

We would especially like to thank the core members of this team


Without an EM society for support these individuals pressed forward in their own time to make this conference a success. Without you we would not have had an event and we are forever grateful for your enormous efforts and support.

The assistance of the Pacific Community (SPC) was absolutely critical to this conference being a regional Pacific conference. Without the financial support provided both to DEM and regional delegates we would not have been able to fund the attendance of nearly as many regional attendees. Right from the outset Berlin Kafoa and Mabel Taoi from SPC were enthusiastically supportive of the concept and we remain humbled as an organisation to have had their support. Thank you Berlin and Mabel.

We also must thank Georgina Phillips and Anne Creaton who guided our efforts from the beginning. These two inspiring physicians were able to connect us to the right people in the region and then to bring these people together to push forward movement towards a regional EM society and interconnected EMS development in the Pacific. Thank you both.

To our incredible unpaid faculty who have joined us from around the globe, you really are the core of this conference. Your generosity is unbelievable.

You have as a group made DevelopingEM what it is and we hope to continue building on an amazing group of clinicians as the years progress. In particular we must thank our Program and Workshop leads for herding the cats and getting everyone in the same place at the same time.


Thank you and we hope to work again with you very soon.

To our support staff for keeping everyone happy


Thank you for your hard work over the last year and especially during the conference.

Last but not least, to our wonderful delegates from Fiji and Pacific. What an outstanding group of smart, sensitive, positive physicians you are with the added advantage of all being comic geniuses. The Pacific is in good hands.

Thankyou DevelopingEMers. Without you we would literally not have a conference.

Revisiting the Colombo Declaration

The Colombo Declaration in support of the Stop Bombing Hospitals campaign


The issue of attacks on medical facilities in conflict zones was brought to the fore by several presentations during the DevelopingEM 2016 Sri Lanka conference.

The moving presentation by Kass Thomas describes the 2015 attack on the MSF run Kunduz Trauma Centre in Afghanistan. It contains distressing content and graphic images and it stirred emotions in everyone present at the conference.

In response to these presentations a petition of conference faculty and delegates recorded unanimous condemnation of past and ongoing attacks on health care facilities.

At the suggestion of our friends and colleagues within the Sri Lankan Society of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine (SSCCEM) an attempt to crystallise the feelings of the faculty and delegates into a formal declaration was undertaken.

The resultant Colombo Declaration was presented formally during the plenary session of the SLEMCON 2017 conference.


Final Logo-03The Colombo Declaration

Attacks on health care facilities in conflict zones have, unfortunately, been documented in many wars throughout history. In the aftermath of World War II, in an attempt to limit the suffering caused by armed conflict, the international community drafted and ratified the 1949 Geneva Conventions, establishing rules to protect people who were not participating in the hostilities – civilians, medical personnel, injured soldiers etc. Violations of these rules of war, such as bombing a hospital, constituted a war crime punishable under International Humanitarian Law.

Despite the global acceptance of the Geneva Conventions, recent years have seen an escalation of the pattern, frequency and nature of attacks on hospitals in conflict . Recently termed the “weaponisation” of health care, these hospital attacks have become part of a multi-dimensional war strategy, which uses large scale violence to deprive people of access to health care. While Syria and Yemen have recently suffered the largest volume of attacks on health care facilities, a recent report documented attacks in 23 countries in 2016 alone.

The majority often using highly advanced precision aerial bombardment. These attacks are not simply collateral damage.

Under mounting pressure from all major international health related organisations, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 2286 in May 2016 condemning attacks on health care and demanding that all warring parties fully comply with the Geneva Conventions. Unfortunately, the resolution has not been implemented or enforced, attacks continue with impunity.

At the 2016 DevelopingEM conference in Sri Lanka an eye witness description of the bombing of the Medecins Sans Frontieres run Kunduz Trauma Centre in Northern Afghanistan was emotional provided by Dr Kathleen Thomas. Forty two staff and patients were killed in the US attack and the Trauma Centre was utterly destroyed. Other presenters and conference delegates later described similar attacks on health facilities in other conflict settings that they too had witnessed.

As a group, evidenced by a signed petition, the faculty and delegates (approximately 300 clinicians) of the conference agreed to cement the overwhelming abhorrence at the ongoing situation globally in the Colombo Declaration.

The Sri Lankan Society of Critical Care and Emergency Medicine (SSCCEM) and DevelopingEM in behalf of the faculty and delegates of the 2016 Conference present the Declaration as follows.

We, the directors and organizing committee of DevelopingEM and the SSCCEM, are concerned about the serious worldwide attacks on healthcare facilities, personnel and their patients. We have assembled at the 2017 Sri Lankan Emergency Medicine Conference (SLEMCON), to consider enhanced action to tackle this problem in a spirit of trust and cooperation. We:

  1. Condemn the attacks on health care facilities, health care workers and vehicles in conflict zones.
  2. Reaffirm our belief that all people regardless of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, political affiliation, or religious beliefs should have the right to access health care, and all medical professionals should be able to deliver this care in facilities without threat of
  3. Call upon the UN Security Council to take immediate action to fully implement and enforce Resolution 2286
  4. Call upon all Member States to uphold and comply with the Geneva Conventions; to commit to making attacks against healthcare in conflict zones an absolute redline; to support the enforcement of UNSC Resolution 2286; and to call for an immediate cessation to any further attacks on health care facilities
  5. Call upon national medical societies, specialist colleges and clinicians to individually and collectively condemn attacks on healthcare facilities in conflict zones, and to promote respect and awareness of the Geneva Conventions and enforcement of UNSC Resolution 2286.

These are serious promises which will be difficult to achieve, but we are resolved that such commitments will be met by practical action and the resources needed to ensure real and measurable results;

Together we can raise the profile of this issue and advocate for the correct and proper enforcement of the Geneva Conventions and UNSC Resolution 2286.


Since the formal declaration DevelopingEM has used social media and other platforms to spread the word about the Colombo Declaration to clinicians around the globe.

Kass Thomas followed up her presentation in Sri Lanka with an article describing the Kunduz attack and outlining her thoughts on the way forward.

As individuals, we have begun approaching local health districts, academic colleges and professional organisations.

As a result of these approaches the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia (CENA) and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) have all formally come out in support of the Colombo Declaration.

We have also begun the process of appealing to our political representatives.

Unfortunately as time passes the problem of the weaponisation of healthcare has not halted with ongoing attacks on facilities around the globe and a total disregard for the Geneva conventions and the UN security council resolution on bombing medical facilities. In 2017, 701 facilities were attacked in 23 countries, more than ever before, according to the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Report.

As such we feel there is very much still work to do and as we progress we plan as an organisation to:

  • Vastly increase global medical community support for this declaration by gaining signatory support from as many clinicians and professional organisations as possible.
  • Report on Dr Thomas’ website whenever we become aware of a new hospital attack so that these atrocities do not go unnoticed.
  • Seek media interest in reporting the declaration and the concern across the medical community for our colleagues under attack.
  • Utilise this media interest to have a voice with individuals and organisations of potential influence on this complex issue.


This issue is a daunting one to confront but there are things that you can do to help raise awareness and contribute to the groundswell of medical opposition to this tool of modern warfare.

As individuals you can

  • Update your understanding of the issue by checking out Safeguarding Health, the Report on Attacks on Healthcare facilities in 2017, and the Stop Bombing Hospitals website
  • Visit the Stop Bombing Hospitals booth at #DevEM2018 to find out more
  • Sign the Colombo Declaration here
  • Become a local champion and encourage your colleagues and local representative organisations, wherever you hail from, to sign the online declaration. Every signature counts.
  • Spread the word about news of ongoing attacks and also strategies to address the issue such as the Declaration, through your own social media platforms
  • Write to your Member of Parliament or other political representatives in your country about this issue and feel free to forward the Declaration.

At DevelopingEM 2018 Fiji we will be restating the Declaration and there will be an information desk where you can learn more about how to contribute.

As delegates of DevelopingEM you are part of our organisation and we invite you to be part of this movement.

We thank you for your support and look forward to working with you to progress this Declaration.


Radiology Track scheduled for Day One at #DevEM2018

As well as Co-Directing #DevEM2018 Sanj Fernando also leads an experienced group of emergency physicians in presenting an afternoon Radiology Session at this years’ conference.

Screen Shot 2018-11-13 at 1.30.31 pm

This focussed review of XRays and CT scans will review radiology findings that clinically matter.

Get a jump on life saving interventions based on radiology even before the radiologist gets involved.