What’s so good about DevelopingEM? An attendee’s perspective.

Blog Post By Nat Thurtle 

 

What’s so good about DevelopingEM?

I have been lucky enough to attend a variety of fantastic Emergency Medicine conferences over the time I have been an EM trainee. Conferences with cutting edge research, conferences utilising and explaining the exciting frontier of social media and open access, conferences where the thought leaders of emergency medicine and critical care deliver digestible pearls, conferences with opulent social programmes, conferences where the tea breaks have amazing new airway toys to play with while you drink your latte.

So what’s so good about this one?

Shiny?

It’s certainly not the shiniest. No airway toys, no free pens, not even a latte (don’t worry, there is always coffee!). No cabaret-esque introduction, dancing girls or ‘90’s rave approach to lighting. There’s never to my knowledge been an ICU consultant dressed up as a uterus at DEM either, a la the wonderful SMACC 2013…!

Fast-paced?

DEM is not as punchy as other conferences. Imagine every presentation being interpreted into another language in real time! This means a slow and measured approach to speaking, not using slang etc, busier slides with 2 languages on them, making information accessible to the many delegates who don’t speak English.

For me, its 3 things that make DEM great – the ethics, the true innovation and the heart.

Ethics

DEM is really not for profit.

Nobody makes any money out of DEM. There’s a small team of organisers, most of whom work full-time as EM physicians, and give their time and expertise for free. There’s a broad international array of speakers who not only give their time for free, but most of whom pay full registration fees (to support sponsorship of local delegates) and cover all their own costs. These include speakers that really don’t need the gig, people like Judith Tintinalli, Joe Lex and Jerry Hoffman.

DEM is not compromised by industry sponsorship

DEM does not accept pharmaceutical industry sponsorship. In this age of deep controversy over industry influence on practice, this is a meaningful and important stand against this that no other international EM conference has been able to take, to my knowledge. No toys at tea break is a small price to pay.

DEM happens in countries where EM is developing

DEM recognises that people are practising EM outside of the US and Australasia! We were in Cuba in 2013, and now Brazil, bringing high calibre speakers to practitioners that would not otherwise have live access to them and building connections. #FOAMed is awesome, but if you only speak Portuguese, and work in a developing context, or in Cuba where there is essentially no internet, what is available or relevant to you is limited.

Innovation

DEM recognises the ‘dirty’ side of medicine

Many conferences focus on the practice of medicine in an ideal fully equipped setting with the assumption that practice is scientific. For me, recognising and understanding the political and inexact nature of health care provision – inequality of access, inequality of standard of care and the undue influence of corporate needs on research and guidelines, as well as pragmatism in the face of limited evidence, limited expertise or limited resources and our own fallibility – is a critical part of being a real physician. DEM does not ignore these factors, despite them being complex and ‘dirty’. Bringing politics to an EM conference? To me this is brave and innovative.

 

DEM sponsors local delegates and has local speakers

DEM fully sponsored 65 local delegates from Cuba and other Caribbean nations last year, bringing local speakers to their own peers, and to an international audience, and will be doing the same in Brazil this year.

 

DEM does real-time interpretation

DEM does real-time bilingual interpretation of all presentations and question and answer sessions, making information truly accessible to delegates and allowing people to converse who would otherwise not be able to.

 

The Heart

What happens after DEM is cool.

Matt Dawson and Mike Mallin from the Ultrasound Podcast ran an ultrasound course in Castries, St. Lucia and Ricardo Hamilton and Mary Langcake (trauma surgeon from Sydney) ran the first fully accredited ATLS course in the Bahamas in the week after DEM 2013. The first ever Paediatric Intensive Care BASICs course in St Lucia was also organized following DEM 2013, to name but few follow-ons.

Delegate registration fees contributed to computers and USB drives loaded with #FOAMed resources, and EZIO kits that were donated to Cuba, St Lucia and the region after DEM 2013.

A letter signed by conference organisers and delegates was published in the BMJ calling for an end to the US-Cuba embargo in the name of access to health care, raising awareness in the medical community on this complex topic.

 

The social is awesome

Never got to bed before 2 or 3 in Havana – mojitos, cuba libres, music and Caribbean heat, similar minded folks to share stories and ideas with, hoping Brazil will be the same.

 

Lee and Mark

These two are brilliant. They are the heart of DEM and have my total confidence and respect.

So, that’s what I think is so good about DevelopingEM. Come and see for yourselves!!

Nat

Looking back, looking forward – DEM Presentations from 2012 & 2013

Central to the ethos of DevelopingEM has always been the excellence of the program. This year we think we have our best program ever with the format and content influenced by the feedback of previous delegates. You can see what’s in store for you if you come to Salvador by reviewing the previous presentations which are available on our website.
Havana
Sydney

Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment – Emergency Medicine Conference 2014

GDAY DevelopingEMers
One of the new components of the program this year will be the addition of a Lifelong Learning and Self Assessment session.
This session focussing on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Literature Review will conclude our track 1 sessions on Thursday 11 September.
The session will be conducted by Luis Lovato who is the Director of Critical Care at the Department of Emergency Medicine Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.
Luis is a LLSA specialist and has a monthly column in Emergency Medicine News entitled “Living with the LLSA” providing comprehensive reviews of required reading for members of the American Board of Emergency Medicine.
DevelopingEM is excited about the addition of an LLSA session and are very thankful for the involvement and expertise of Luis.
Stay tuned for more details of the best program DevelopingEM has ever put together.
See you in Salvador soon.

It’s a packed social program for DevelopingEM 2014

Apart from taking in the amazing atmosphere of Brazil in the middle of the World Cup, Lee, Mark and Scott Cameron managed to find two incredible venues for our social functions for DevelopingEM 2014.
Scott is an emergency physician from Whangarei in New Zealand. Scott has a major Brazilian connection spending his formative high school years in Sao Paulo.
He’s been a crucial part of our organisational team for DevelopingEM 2014. During our week in Salvador in June Scott was critical to securing two amazing venues for the DevelopingEM 2014 Social Functions.
Our welcome reception on Monday 8th of September will be held in the gorgeous Pestano Convento do Carmo. This 16th century carmelite convent is a beautiful venue in the heart of the Historic Centre of Salvador (The Pelourinho) which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With stunning architecture combined with period furniture and works of art we’re sure you will be blown away by the beauty of the venue.
Full registration ensures your attendance at this event.
Our conference dinner will be held at quite a different but very impressive venue, the Yacht Clube da Bahia. This suave waterfront restaurant, with its own mini Elevator Lacerda, is a truly beautiful venue. Overlooking the Bay of All Saints the restaurant gives you the feeling of being aboard a luxury liner. In contrast to the 16th century Convent the environment of the yacht club follows a contemporary style and the view of the Bay is the most generous possible.
Once again full registration ensures your attendance at our conference dinner.

 

Emergency Medicine and Critical Care in Global Health

DevelopingEM has, from the very first, had a focus on emergency medicine and critical care around the globe.

And from the beginning we’ve been helped by Natalie Thurtle.

Nat is an emergency medicine trainee currently based in Townsville in Far North Queensland. She has spent a considerable amount of time working with Medicins Sans Frontieres and at our 2012 Sydney Conference gave a fantastic presentation on her involvement in the management of the Zamfara lead poisoning disaster in Northern Nigeria.

In 2013 we expanded the Global Health presentations to an entire session. Speakers from around the globe outlined some of their experiences taking emergency medicine and criticalcare around the world. Nat once again gave a great presentation on her stay in Botswana.

This year Nat is the program lead for this expanded part of the academic schedule. In response to feedback we’ve brought the session to an earlier position in the program and the number of presentations has also increased. Nat has gathered an amazing group of physicians to discuss their experiences around the globe, from Papua New Guinea to Afghanistan and Guatemala to Fiji.

Join us in Salvador, Brazil to hear Nat’s team give some truly inspirational presentations.