Commentary

What’s Hot and What’s Not in Our National Organizations: An Emergency Medicine Panel, Part 1

Reports on the most important issues facing emergency medicine from the AAEM, AAEM Resident and Student Association, ABEM, and ACEP.

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On February 21 to 24, 2016, the Association of Academic Chairs of Emergency Medicine (AACEM) held its 8th annual retreat in Tempe, Arizona. The AACEM is comprised of full, acting, interim, and emeritus chairs and directors of departments of emergency medicine (EM) who work to improve and support academic departments of EM in the advancement of health care through high-quality education and research.

During that event, AACEM President Greg Volturo, MD, organized a panel discussion of EM leaders to provide an update on their organizations’ recent activities. This panel included representatives from seven prominent EM organizations: the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), AAEM Resident and Student Association (AAEM/RSA), American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD), Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), and Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).

The following is the first of a two-part article that provides highlights from that discussion, with reports from the AAEM, AAEM/RSA, ABEM, and ACEP. Part 2 will appear in the May issue and will include reports from the CORD, EMRA, and SAEM.

American Academy of Emergency Medicine

Kevin G. Rodgers, MD, FAAEM, President AAEM

Due Process. AAEM highlighted the problem of the lack of due process for many emergency physicians (EPs). By agreeing to waive their rights to due process when signing contracts with some contract management companies, EPs can unwittingly give their employers the power to terminate them without cause and without notice. AAEM is working with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and several congressmen to amend the Medicare Rules for Participation to include an “unwaivable due process guarantee.” In addition, AAEM is requesting an addition to the current Code of Federal Regulation to ensure EPs are entitled “to a fair hearing and appellate review through hospital medical staff mechanisms before any termination or restriction of their professional activity or medical staff privileges. These rights cannot be denied through a third party contract.”

AAEM Residency Visitation Program. AAEM is committed to visiting every EM residency program once every 3 to 4 years, similar to the ACEP and ABEM programs. Residency programs will have the opportunity to select from a list of well-known EM speakers; they will deliver a clinically oriented lecture, followed by a presentation on AAEM. The cost of the program is borne completely by AAEM.

AAEM Physician Group (AAEM-PG). This program was announced at the 2016 AAEM Scientific Assembly. AAEM-PG establishes and supports EM practices where physicians can operate democratically and have an equal voice. It is a practice that is run by the local physicians for the physicians. AAEM-PG will help guide new as well as established EM groups, providing for physicians’ autonomy, fair and equitable practice environments, and career and group longevity.

AAEM Resident and Student Association

Victoria Weston, MD, AAEM/RSA President

Overview. Started in 2005, AAEM/RAS now has over 3,500 members and 58 EM residency programs with 100% participation. Benefits of membership include access to EM:RAP and The Journal of Emergency Medicine, access and opportunities to contribute to an RSA peer-reviewed blog and Modern Resident, and free registration for the AAEM Annual Scientific Assembly. As part of the AAEM Scientific Assembly, AAEM/RSA coordinates a day-long education track in collaboration with the AAEM Young Physician Section, an In-Training Exam review, and a Career Fair and Social.

Congressional Elective. Members of AAEM/RSA can apply to be selected for a one-month “Congressional Elective” with Congressmen Raul Ruiz and Joe Heck, the only two EPs currently in Congress, to teach EPs the process of creating health-policy legislation on Capitol Hill. For 4 weeks, residents work directly in their congressional office and learn to work with constituents to develop relevant health-policy legislation. Residents learn to present legislative briefs, proposals, and research in a productive, succinct, and time-efficient manner. AAEM/RSA also offers an annual Advocacy Day, where residents and students have the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and/or senior congressional staff on Capitol Hill; this year it will be held on June 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Toxicology Mobile App. The AAEM/RSA Toxicology mobile app will soon be available for purchase, and is compatible with both iPhone and Android technology. You can search by subject, browse chapters of AAEM/RSA’s Toxicology Handbook, or contact Poison Control with a single click.

American Board of Emergency Medicine

Francis L. Counselman, MD, Immediate Past President, ABEM

Enhanced Oral (eOral) Certification Examination. ABEM has completed its second eOral examination; the third is scheduled for April 2016. Three of the examination cases are now in the new eOral format, which uses a computer monitor, patient avatar, picture archiving and communication system (PACS)-quality radiographs, and dynamic rhythm strips. Feedback from test-takers and examiners has been quite positive. ABEM will be moving more cases to the eOral format in the near future.

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