As promised I will attempt to share a few things about SMACC 2013 for my loyal reader (thanks mum)
First of all: Wow. The entire conference was an absolutely amazing experience. So much so that I am still suffering from a little bit of cool stuff overload (and a fair bit of fatigue, having got back home around midnight, with an 04:30 start this morning)
So, before I try and sort out all the stuff I got out of it I will get all of my name-dropping out of the way by posting a few pics of the legends I got to see and even talk to. Exciting!
(Warning, photos ahead, slow connections beware!)
Joe Lex and I. Joe is of course the man behind Free Emergency Talks. He is also a legend of emergency medicine and education. Joe spoke of becoming and being an emergency physician and his humour, humility and grace when he spoke were inspirational. After more years in the field than I have on the earth he is an amazing example of what can be achieved in life, not just medicine.
Minh Le Cong, Cliff Reid and I. Minh is the brains behind the PHARM website and one of the most prolific bloggers, podcasters and tweeters in EM and FOAM. He is also an amazingly nice guy. On being accosted by the enormous hairy guy at right early one morning he spent a far more time than he needed (and probably more than he should have) speaking with me about blogging and FOAM. On learning that I am an educator he gave me some of his own material to use before heading off to inspire everyone else. I hope some day he and I will be able to collaborate on a podcast to share some of his energy, enthusiasm and knowledge with my audience.
Cliff runs the resus.me blog and collaborates with many others in the FOAM world. He spoke eloquently and passionately about leadership and scene management. However it was his talk on How to be a Hero which left very few dry eyes in the auditorium. I have no idea how he managed to speak about such painful events with such courage, but all who were there are, I am sure, as grateful as I am that he did. Cliff is a true gentleman and I was thrilled to listen to him and to meet him. Tim Leeuwenberg is a rural doctor on King Island in South Australia. He also runs the KI-Docs website which focuses on the critical care aspects of life as a rural GP. The issues that he speaks about will resonate very strongly with any paramedic who has practised in remote or austere environments. He also has a line of superb T-Shirts; check out some of the designs on his site. He was also the first real blogger to follow AmboFOAM, so he definitely deserves a shout out!
And finally, the Grand Master of them all. The one and only Scott Weingart from Emcrit. If you have ever listened to any of Scott’s podcasts you will have some idea of the energy, intellect and passion he brings t0 criticial care medicine and medical education. In person he is even more inspiring. If you haven’t listened to his podcasts, there may be no hope for you. Head on over to emcrit and atone!
These folk aren’t the only one I got to chinwag with. I spoke with Andy Buck of EDExam about the training program he has been developing which would have a huge crossover value for paramedics.
Scott from AucklandHEMS is re-invigorating and rebuilding HEMS in New Zealand, bringing it forward to be at the cutting edge of prehospital care. He also made me feel extremely homesick!
I also spent a fair bit of time hanging out with my mate Ben from Prehospitalpro.com who inspires me to work towards my goal of getting dunked unceremoniously in Bass Strait on occasion.
The thing that most struck me was how generous all of these people were who presented or helped at SMACC2013 were. They genuinely care about critical care and about education. Not just education, but free, open access education. It didn’t matter whether you were a Professor or a Paramedic, they were equally as enthusiastic and giving of their time and energy either way. It was a rather humbling experience, and it gives a great feeling of hope and excitement about the future of medical education. Now we have to carry the momentum on and I hope to be able to provide some degree of trickle down effect for my readers
Sorry for all the hero-worship. If some of you feel the need to have a shower now, I understand. However these are people who genuinely inspire me in my quest to become a better paramedic, a better blogger and a better teacher, so it was enormously exciting getting to see them present and to meet them. I will try to get down to some actual content for my next post, I promise.
I’m not going to try to break everything down because it will all be available online anyway. Rather I’ll just share a few of the things that really stuck in my mind from the three days. There were so many, from Victoria Brazil talking about communication and education to John Myburgh’s “Gods own Catecholamine” to Anthony Holley talking about TXA (Why haven’t we got this? Seriously…) and so many others. So stay tuned and hopefully I can inspire a few more paramedics to come to SMACC2014 in Brisbane, March 17-19. I’ll definitely be there!