I was asked to speak at the Australasian Conference for Emergency Medicine‘s Annual Scientific Conference in Adelaide in November 2013. The title they gave me was ‘What a great job’. It was a great opportunity for me to explore some of the literature around what makes people happy, and whether emergency medicine has the ingredients to do that. It does. But not if you do too much.
The College has generously made available many of the conference talks as FOAM here.
I’m not a hero and don’t claim to be, but when I was given this talk to do for the SMACC 2013 conference I researched the topic and realised I’d worked with several of them.
The talk was the toughest I’ve ever given, because I cried while giving it, and knew that it wouldn’t just be the large audience in front of me who would know I was a wuss, but that it was being recorded for many others to find out too!
A full transcript of the talk, the slide set, and links to references from the talk can be found here.
SMACC was my all-time favourite conference ever. Its sequel, smaccGOLD, promises to be even better, as you’ll see from the program
The smaccGOLD online registration goes live this Monday 16th September at 8am in Sydney
This will be 11pm Sunday 15th in London, and 6pm Sunday 15th in New York
Make sure you don’t miss your chance to register for the best critical care conference ever!
Also check out the preconference workshops – a jawdropping line-up of medical masters covering everything you’d want to learn. The only difficult part is deciding what you won’t go to! Places are limited and expected will sell out quickly. Registration is on a first come basis.
Hopefully we’ll see you there.
smaccGOLD is a not-for-profit venture and I receive no payment for any participation in the conference or its promotion
The whole purpose behind my career and this blog is to save life. Like most emergency physicians I don’t see a huge number of resuscitation patients myself in a given week, so my best hope in making a difference is to develop my teaching skills so that I can motivate and inspire others to improve their ability to manage resuscitation.
The highlight of my week therefore has been the receipt of some email feedback from a colleague in Germany. An intensivist, internist, and prehospital doctor (I like him already) who tells me he found my ‘Own the Resus‘ talk helpful:
Dear Dr. Reid,
Few days ago, too tired too sleep after a long shift on my ICU (18 beds internal medicine ICU, I am specialist in internal medicine specialized in intensive care and prehospital emergency medicine in a major German city) I watched your talk via emcrit podcast. I was immediately caught, I soaked in every word, I was fascinated, watched it twice in the middle of the night and next afternoon I listened to it in my car driving to work.
At this very day I did some overdue crap beyond the end of my shift when I heard the ominous shuffling of feet and rolling of the emergency cart from the other end of the ward… “I think we need your help….”
There it was, difficult airway situation. Patient crashing.
Then what followed was a kind of “out of body experience”. I did what was necessary, made things happen like calling anesthesia difficult airway code, calling the surgeons, organizing fiber optics and meanwhile trying to secure that airway myself until i could dispatch anesthesia to the head and surgeons to the neck. Within few minutes there were 6 doctors and 5 nurses shuffling on 9 square meters…
I found myself 1 meter behind the foot end of the pts bed and with your talk in my head I found me consciously controlling the crowd. There was suddenly the messages of your talk and there was me. I don’t know how to put it into words, I wouldn’t have done something else in medical terms but thanks to your talk I had the vocabulary, the tools to reflect myself as the leader to be in charge of the situation somehow with more distance, and after a successful resus the 10 people involved in this code went off with a good feeling that everybody contributed in what they could and all for the pts benefit.
Your talk was a kind of transition to the next level for me: from the colleague who asks how to get out of trouble in many situations because he was often deeply in trouble, to the one who leads out of trouble.
With your talk many things suddenly became clear and I am looking forward to be able to work harder on this role of leading.
I can’t imagine what it was like to go through what Fred Ettish went through. I remember being stunned at the overwhelming failure of his Karate in one of the early UFC fights in the mid-nineties, and gave no thought to the man inside the gi. I may even have been one of the viewers who felt some Schadenfreude at the apparent humiliation of traditional karate by Western boxing.
Now I see this man in a different light. Someone who has lost almost almost everything, yet refused to give in. I have no idea how I would react to such adversity, and never want to be tested in such a way. For an inspiring demonstration of spirit, watch this video that brought a tear to my eye. At around two minutes in you will see this is not about martial arts. This is about courage and strength and there is something to learn here for all of us.
This is the daughter of my friend. Avery is only seven months old and has survived a critical illness and is thankfully now fully recovered. Her Dad has nothing but praise for the medical and nursing staff who cared for her. But one thing could have been better. Avery endured multiple attempts at vascular access without ultrasound guidance.
If you were her parent, and you were an emergency physician with galaxy-class expertise in emergency ultrasound, how would you react? Complaints? Incident forms? Outrage?
How about education? For free. Accompanied by lavish praise for the experts who treated Avery and made her better.
Avery’s Dad is ultrasound podcaster and gentleman Dr Matt Dawson. He is offering FREE ultrasound training to anyone who wants to improve their vascular access skills.
Are there nurses, physicians, or technicians in your ED or ICU that could improve their care with this training? Please consider sending them for this training. To register for the course, and to read Avery’s full story, go to notapincushion.com.
And if you’re already comfortable with ultrasound-guided vascular access, then visit the site anyway, as there is some education here for all of us: how to turn a gut-wrenchingly distressing experience into something positive that will benefit countless others. I am thoroughly inspired.
It reminded me a bit of my wedding in 2005, when my pre-hospital colleagues surprised us with a guard of honour, holding up laryngoscopes, Magill’s forceps, tracheal tubes, and other airway paraphernalia.