Thursday, May 31, 2012

Both Sides of the Table

If I may, a piece of advice to the new intern class of emergency medicine residents.

When you are on your surgery rotations, remember that you are an EM resident. If you operate on a patient, ask the anesthesiologist to intubate that patient too. It is very cool to be on one side of the table, scrub, and then assist the surgeon on the other side of the table. You are a multitasker.

The scrub nurse will not know what to make of you. After the surgery, ask the nurse to see their op-report. It will say that you intubated the patient and that you operated on the patient. This makes you special - you will be the only person in the hospital that will do this.

 - Tim Peck, MD

Monday, May 28, 2012

Call for Case Contributors to Modern EM

Want to write a case for Modern EM?

Modern EM is a blog in which case presentations are used to illustrate how Web 2.o resources can be used in the management of our patients.

Thanks to the support of the EM Web 2.o world (such as Academic Life in Emergency Medicine, Life in the Fast Lane, Wing of Zock, The Poison Review, and Rahul's EM Blog), the blog has hit the ground running and already received thousands of hits!

If you've had a case in which your managment was augmented or even changed by the likes of blogs, Twitter posts, web-based audio-visual resources, or apps, please don't keep it to yourself!  Sharing your story can help the EM community members be better practitioners. 

Together we can advocate for the improved use of technology in the ED. 

If you have an idea, contact me at

- Timothy Peck, MD

Friday, May 18, 2012

SAEM's Emergency Medicine Milestones

The SAEM released its educational milestones on their website this week; these are a comprehensive set of skills that every emergency physician should possess by the time they graduate residency.  The resident's level of competence for each skill is graded on a 5 point scale.

The significance of the publication of these milestones is great.  I have often advocated to reevaluate the arbitrary means of granting graduation in medical education.  Just because you got through 3 or 4 years of residency, does not mean that you deserve to graduate residency (the same goes for medical school).  To be elevated from one level to the next, you should be required to prove that you have hit the necessary milestones to move on to the next level.  The recently published milestones can help make that a reality, and introduce a better system to ensure our patients that the physicians who take care of them are truely competent.  The ridiculousness of standardized paper board exams may be done away with or at least deprioritized.