Common Sense

28th Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly: Thank You for Joining Us!

Issue: May/June 2022

Authors: Co-Chair Laura J. Bontempo, MD Med FAAEM, Co-Chair George C. Willis, MD FAAEM, and Vice Chair Christopher Colbert, DO FAAEM

The 28th Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly was held in Baltimore, MD from April 24-27, 2022. With a focus on cutting edge clinical medicine as well as practical application to patient care, this event was one of the most anticipated academic conferences of the year.

This year’s Scientific Assembly took an innovative and practical look at various topics within emergency medicine that are shaping our field of practice. We were excited to provide the opportunity to expand the conversation on the topics of toxicology, cardiology, critical care, infectious disease, and many more. By combining discussion from leading scholars with innovative medical nuances, we were able to provide a resource to enhance the understanding of our beloved specialty. Additionally, special attention was dedicated to ensuring that participants’ health and safety were maintained throughout this phenomenal conference.

Powerhouse plenaries included Drs. Haney Mallemat (Resuscitation), Michael Winters (Resuscitation), Corey M. Slovis (EMS), Ilene Claudius (Pediatrics), Mimi Lu (Pediatrics), Deborah M. Stein (Trauma), and Amal Mattu (Cardiology). Drs. Al’ai Alvarez, Cortlyn Brown, Italo M. Brown, David Davidson, and Joanne Williams joined us for the Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Panel. Dr. Jack Perkins and Joshua Morales were joined by sickle cell patients Kenya Thompson, Tenesha Dudley, and Isaiah Dudley for the Sickle Cell Patient Panel.  There was also a transgender patient panel to discuss the challenges of being a transgender patient and caring for one in our current healthcare system.

This year’s keynote presentation, “Our Patients, Our Specialty: AAEM-PG Versus Envision and the Future of EM,” featured Drs. Robert M. McNamara and Mark Reiter who broke down what the lawsuit means for emergency physicians and our patients. The AAEM suit against Envision (EmCare) is a momentous event for our specialty and our patients. AAEM is asking the courts to invalidate the contractual scheme used by Envision to skirt the patient protections inherent to the prohibition on the corporate practice of medicine. This is an enormous undertaking, but this is the hill we must fight on for the soul of our specialty.

Another highlight of AAEM22 was the “Six EM Docs Walk into a Shift Show” talk which featured speakers from the AAEM Critical Care Medicine Section, EMS Section, Emergency Ultrasound Section, JEDI Section, Women in EM Section, and Young Physicians Section walking attendees through a series of patient encounters during a natural disaster. Dr. Molly Estes walked us through treating multiple patients in the wake of a hurricane and shared her thought process as she drew insight from all six AAEM sections to manage the storm after the storm.  

With the conference being near Washington D.C., we were also able to have a few members of Congress lead a discussion on current health care advocacy issues and give attendees an opportunity to voice questions and concerns on how Congress can assist emergency physicians take better care of our patients.

The ever-popular Breve Dulce sessions returned this year and continued to be some of the most attended sessions of AAEM22. “Meeting of the Minds” also returned for a second year which featured EM practitioners debating the pros and cons of the latest practice-changing articles in critical care and medical ethics. For the fifth year in a row, the interactive Small Group Clinic sessions gave attendees hands-on practice in a variety of settings. The AAEM/RSA Resident Track - selected by residents, for residents - prepared students for their careers in emergency medicine by concentrating on topics such as career success, clinical topics, and social determinants of health. This session concluded with the AAEM/RSA Breve Dulce Competition which featured five resident presentations on the theme of “Great Catch: A Difficult Diagnosis,” a challenging presentation, or a near-miss that might change the way that you approach that topic.

We had an energetic group of medical student ambassadors, who were omnipresent and ever helpful in keeping the conference going. Special educational sessions were targeted toward their benefit. Thank you, student ambassadors!

There were also a wide variety of networking opportunities available at Scientific Assembly. Whether in the hallways, at receptions, or near the coffee stations during breaks the level of interactions between attendees was high. The JEDI off-site reception, Women in EM lunch, the AAEM Chapter and Sections social, and Airway at AAEM were all highly anticipated and attended. The Wellness Committee also hosted a Wellness Room for all attendees to relax and recharge throughout the conference.

We sincerely hope that you enjoyed the Assembly this year. Our goal is to continue in the tradition of bringing in a combination of your perennial favorites and some new speakers to keep you educated, inspired, and coming back every year for more.

Please let us know your thoughts and we hope to see you in New Orleans, Louisiana for the 29th Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly from April 21-25, 2023!

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