In This Issue:
Michael Walters, MD JD FAAEM
President, GLAAEM Board of Directors
I will be brief. I thought my message today would be a brief photo of an emergency room in Venice, Italy. Only a physician would stumble across this and find it interesting. (Actually right next to the apartment we are staying in).
This family trip to Venice, has reminded me of how far we still need to go with specialty recognition. On the flight across the pond I was talking to a young man from Ottawa. After answering his inquiry into what I did, he proceeded to tell me about his friend who is a family practitioner in Canada who also works in an ED. So, not a problem isolated to the U.S. As THE specialty society of emergency medicine that holds board certification as the ideal, we have continued work to do regarding our specialty recognition. Those efforts start at home. So when you see efforts that promote our specialty, get involved. Whether those efforts are at the hospital level with setting the requirements for credentialing or the state level with the medical board or medical society, be alert and get involved!
Robert Hoogstra, MD FACP FAAEM
Michigan State Representative, GLAAEM Board of Directors
Some issues currently being looked at in the state of Michigan:
- GME funding: Each of the state budget proposals that have been proposed by the governor and both state chambers eliminate or reduce the state contribution toward GME funding and require hospitals to fund the program with their own tax dollars. For more information go to www.gmematters.org.
- No-fault reform: Every driver is required to buy auto insurance of which $186 per vehicle goes to purchase insurance from the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association to cover lifetime medical expenses over $530,000 for victims of an auto accident with serious injuries. Given the high cost of car insurance in Michigan both the Senate and the House Insurance Committees have been looking for ways to reduce the amount paid for catastrophic medical expenses. Some things being considered include:
- Limiting what auto insurers would pay to 150% of Medicare reimbursement.
- Appropriations of $150,000 for a full-time employee of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services to prepare a report for the legislature.
- Capping lifetime benefits a victim could receive.
- Limits on per hour compensation to $15.00/hour and number of hours per day by family members who deliver attendant care to victims.
- Establish a fraud authority.
David Cheng, MD FAAEM
Ohio State Representative, GLAAEM Board of Directors
In Ohio, bills are being introduced this summer for:
- Creation of a 19 member state trauma board to enhance statewide coordination of trauma service.
- Immunity for drug/alcohol users who sought emergency assistance for an overdose (Good Samaritan legislation).
Also, a group is collecting signatures for marijuana legalization to be on the November 2015 ballot.
Finally, it is summer and I’m reminded of a while back when a new organization was offering a $2,000 lifetime membership to support expenditures. In addition, it also offered opportunities for new faculty to be instructors and lecturers at their courses. I used the opportunity to springboard to being an ABEM oral board examiner. More importantly, I met a new instructor who was going to try their hand at lecturing, especially on a topic that scares people. Fast forward about 20 years to this summer of 2015. That new organization was AAEM and that new faculty member who was going to try his hand at lecturing was Amal Mattu, twenty years ago. GLAAEM is now the new organization. Where will it and you be in 2035 as there are opportunities to be creative and involved?
Chase Deobald, DO
Resident Representative, GLAAEM Board of Directors
As I enter my final year of residency, I realize my co-residents and faculty consider me a leader. While I always felt that I was a leader within my class and program, there is a certain amount of reservation to share your opinion as a first or second year resident. Yet, as time passes, you recognize that you are now equipped with the knowledge base to address concerns that you have.
Developing my leadership abilities was something I never truly considered as a “need.” But after attending a national leadership conference in San Diego with a few of my co-residents, I realized how much I actually have to learn and develop as a leader. If your program does not send resident leaders to a national conference like this, you should strongly recommend attending for the following reasons:
- Location. Attending conferences in warmer climates is awesome!
- Cost: While this is always an issue in academic settings, talk with your program about splitting the cost of a plane ticket or hotel, at a minimum. The more respected the conference and educational offerings, the more you can request from your program. Also consider attending conferences near your program to save on travel costs. Be creative in your cost saving measures.
- Speakers: Many of our institutions host solid educational offerings, both academic and leadership based. But attending a national conference where icons of emergency medicine speak about the things they have learned on their respective journeys’ is a powerful experience. These are the people you want to interact with. They are well read, well prepared, and have an "it" factor when it comes to presenting. I find these people to be right brain dominant who often use the weirdest stories to make a point, including the use of casual profanity during their lecture, and yet it works! It works really well. They leave the audience with as many questions as they answered. They evoke discussion. And hopefully bring about positive change.
- Attendees: I met some great residents from programs across the country. With downtime between lectures, I had some interesting discussions about differences between our programs. One, I did not know that protected time for weekly lectures is not standard. Two, of the programs who host regular conferences, some programs are using technology to actively engage their residents during conferences (e.g., Poll Everywhere). Three, sending all of your chiefs, with their respective issues to address over the next year is great. They can talk with other chiefs to find out what is and is not working for the other programs. Four, we have a lot in common and we can learn a lot from each other. Collegiality can enhance strong aspects of our program and fortify weak ones.
- Evenings: A lot of work can be discussed over a beer. After a day of lectures, a large social gathering was held during the conference with free cocktails. We not only talked about life and future plans, but while walking back to our hotel, I made a decent list of things we wanted to change or improve upon in only 20 minutes. Who knew so much work could be discussed in such a short period?
- Debriefing: When you are back to reality – the real work begins. Develop a schedule to meet with your program leaders to discuss things you have learned. Plan to discuss strong and weak points in your program and what you plan to do about each of these issues. Holding regularly scheduled meetings for assessment and adjustment is even more important. It will ensure the changes you started to make are being carried forward.
I wish you luck in your educational endeavors over the next year. Do not be hesitant to reach out to other programs in your area. You may be surprised to find out how much you have in common.
Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of AAEM, its chapter divisions or affiliates. These articles are intended for the individual use of AAEM members.