Common Sense

President's Message

November/December 2022

An Academy, If You Can Keep It

Is emergency medicine in a crisis? Probably. But it also seems to me that most everything is in crisis now. War in Ukraine, nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea, inflation, global warming, partisanship, and the fact that one day recently the school lunch was supposed to be pancakes, but they did tacos instead. For some reason, my daughter most definitely does not like tacos. I don’t add the last remark to belittle the preceding issues, but rather to suggest that a crisis is subjective. Read more.

September/October 2022


What is the purpose of a specialty society or association? Or, perhaps, more specifically for us, what is the purpose of an academy? I think we all know what our mission statement is, maybe not verbatim, but we know the gist. As should be the case, some of us identify with or hold in high esteem one part of our mission more than another. However, what I believe is that all of us agree with the mission in general, otherwise, we would not be members. While I think about our mission statement every day and I read it prior to every AAEM meeting, recently, I’ve been thinking more broadly about societies, associations, and academies. Read more.

July/August 2022


In my last article in Common Sense, I explained my goals for the Academy and my plans to accomplish them. And while I explained some of the things which I love about emergency medicine and some that I don’t, I didn’t really explain why I joined the Academy in the first place. Two recent, yet completely unrelated events reminded me why I joined and have motivated me to work even harder for the Academy. Read more.

May/June 2022


It was wonderful to be in person again at AAEM22.  If you made it, I hope you had an excellent time, learned some great things, and made some fruitful connections.  If you couldn’t make it, I hope that you can join us next April in New Orleans.  And if you want to learn some great things, remember that all members have free access to AAEM online which has over 100 lectures with CME credit.  Talks from SA22 have not yet been uploaded but will soon.  And if you want to make some connections, help build the Academy, or just explore an interest, then please check out the multitude of sections, committees, and interest groups.  I especially want to make everyone aware of our two newest interest groups, Rural Medicine and Mature Physicians (the counterpart to the current Young Physicians Section. Read more.

March/April 2022

Lessons Learned in a Term of Presidency of AAEM

Writing my last President’s Message is a bittersweet experience. As I approach the end of my term, I realize that being the President of AAEM was in many ways exactly what I expected and, in many ways, not at all what I expected. I expected to work long and hard. I did not expect to contend with the novel Coronavirus and the difficulties and contentions that it brought with it. I expected to learn and grow, but I did not expect to learn and grow to the extent that I did. Read more.

January/February 2022

The Impact of Corporate Groups on Your Medical Practice…and What AAEM is Doing About it!

As I write this message, we are scarcely into the New Year, and yet the hopes we voiced for 2022 as 2021 was coming to an end are all but vanquished, just as the hopes we had for 2021 when we were in December 2020 were similarly vanquished. We try to be positive. We try to be optimistic. We know that our mental health depends on our ability to generate positive energy and see the best in every situation. Read more.

November/December 2021

The Principle of Moral Proximity

A character in a novel I recently read learned that a colleague was making defamatory statements about a senior member of their profession who had not selected the colleague for an important committee. The statements were untrue and were damaging to the senior person’s reputation. Should she, the novel’s protagonist, confront her colleague, who was making these statements? Should she tell the person who was being gossiped about unfairly? What was her moral obligation? Is this her business? Read more.

September/October 2021

Perception is Everything

One of the principles I learned when, prior to medical school, I trained to be a psychotherapist is that when individuals are relating events, there is no objective truth. Each person will tell what happened through the lens of his own experience, based on her own perception, from his own vantage point, and may even see things differently years later when new life events have been experienced. Read more.

July/August 2021

The State of the Academy: It’s GREAT

When you read this, you will have returned, physically or virtually, from what I believe (writing this in early June) is going to be the most fantastic post-isolation reunion of emergency physicians. AAEM will have hosted the first in-person meeting in EM since March 2020. Read more.

May/June 2021

What Does Leadership Look Like? (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of “What Does Leadership Look Like?” Part 1 (Common Sense 28:2, March/April issue) covered the first five of the qualities of a good leader that emerged from the discussions taking place during Leadership Academy. Today, we look at the other five. Read more.

March/April 2021

What Does Leadership Look Like?

Leadership Academy is a tradition at AAEM, and this year, we kicked it up a notch. Instead of the usual approximately 25 potential leaders identified by the board, we invited the Chairs and Vice Chairs of all the sections, committees, interest groups and chapter divisions, the boards of YPS and AAEM/RSA, and sought nominations from other AAEM leaders outside the board of directors. Read more.

January/February 2021

An Emergency Physician is NOT a Provider

I have had a real issue with this word almost since its introduction into medical vernacular. I often plagiarize a physician’s response I read sometime ago on social media, “Sorry, I never went to provider school. I went to medical school.” When I was a child, we used to respond to hurtful comments about our racial and ethnic backgrounds with a pithy jingle, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” How untrue this was then, and still is now. Read more.

November/December 2020

Controlling What You Can When Things Feel Out of Control

Being President of an organization like AAEM has already been a blessing to me in more ways than I can possibly express. One of those ways is the opportunity to form close working relationships with the incredible people who are part of the Academy. Read more.

September/October 2020

Leadership in a Time of Crisis

One of the many wonderful opportunities I have had in the past couple of years has been acceptance into the prestigious Chair’s Development Program (CDP) sponsored by the Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine in collaboration with the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. Read more.

July/August 2020

Doing the Right Thing

We are living in strange and complicated times. Our planet is home to 195 nations, 4,200 different religions and hundreds of political parties, all of which embrace different ethics, concepts of God, and philosophies of good and evil. What is common to all national constitutions, religions, and philosophies is the concept of loving our fellow humans as we love ourselves and treating others as we want to be treated. Read more.

May/June 2020

Steadfast in the Midst of Uncertainty

Things just don’t feel the same. I would like to say that it’s the excitement of stepping up to my role as the first female President of AAEM, and indeed, that is exciting. But this is not the kind of party a Latinx family from the South Bronx would be having when their mama becomes President. Read more.

March/April 2020

It’s Enough….

As, I write my last president’s message, I have been reflecting on the last 27 months. Thank you for the amazing opportunity you gave me to earn your trust and support. My last president’s message will be a call to action. Read more.

January/February 2020

Taking a Stand on the Independent Practice of APPs

As you are reading this issue, I want to take the time to wish you all and your loved ones, a happy and healthy new year. As you might be aware, AAEM has taken a strong stance around the role of the advanced practice provider (APP) in emergency centers across the nation. Read more.

November/December 2019

MEMC19: An Inclusive and Collaborative Educational Experience

AAEM held its bi-annual international conference, the Xth Mediterranean Emergency Medicine Congress (MEMC19) this past September in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the Sun Gardens Hotel. Read more.

September/October 2019

EM Physicians Treat All

Since my last message, I had the opportunity to represent the Academy in Hawaii for the National Medical Association Meeting and then in the latter part of August... Read more.

July/August 2019

Boldly Moving Forward: Learning to Be Proactive Rather than Reactive

In the past several months, I have been traveling and lecturing to students, residents, and attendings, at both community hospitals and at academic programs... Read more.

May/June 2019

Thank You for Another Successful Scientific Assembly!

I’d like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who made the 25th Annual Scientific Assembly a great success! Read more.

March/Arpil 2019

Two Years Since Summa: What Have We Learned?

It has been fascinating to watch the story continue to unfold with Summa Health and U.S. Acute Care Solutions (USACS)... Read more.

January/February 2019

AAEM Signs On to Support AFFIRM

On November 7, 2018 the National Rifle Association (NRA) tweeted, “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane... Read more.

November/December 2018

Do You Work at a CMG? AAEM Needs You!

By now, the kids are back in school, academic centers are getting swamped with rotating medical students... Read more.

September/October 2018

Due Process...Or the Lack of It

When I speak at emergency medicine residencies nationwide about what AAEM stands for, it still amazes me that... Read more.

July/August 2018

Coming Back to Life … Let’s Break the Silence!

This will not be another article on wellness, but rather about the reality of the effects of lack of wellness... Read more.

May/June 2018

New Look, Same Values: Introducing the New AAEM Logo

I want to share my sincere gratitude to the membership of AAEM for another fantastic Scientific Assembly... Read more.

March/April 2018

Due Process: Why It Is So Important

I just finished reading a very stimulating article that drew an interesting comparison between the airline industry and... Read more.

January/February 2018

What Ever Happened to "How May I Help You"?

We need your brain power, your expertise, your service, your involvement, and your infectious energy. Read more.

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