Unless you have been stuck in a sensory deprivation tank for the last year or so, you are probably aware of the conference phenomenon that is SMACC (Social Media and Critical Care)
This incredible event captured the imagination of the medical world when it debuted this year in Sydney and now it is on the way back. I have banged on about this a number of times, but it really is worth going on about, so here is a little more spittle-flecked, purple-faced, vein-bulging ranting from me again.
The SMACC website is now up with the speakers who are attending and the program posted. This really is a who’s who of medical education: Scott Weingart, Victoria Brazil, Simon Carley, Joe Lex, Cliff Reid, Rich Levitan, Karim Brohi, Tim Leeuwenberg, Minh Le Cong… the list goes on and on. Not only are there superb speakers, but the format is novel, being an interactive, media heavy style that encourages all to get involved with SimWars, SonoWars and even FOAMaoke. No being told to turn your phone off here!
So why should you, the paramedic/paramedic student be interested in this conference? Well, as my mate Tim has said, critical illness does not respect geography. It also does not respect training or qualifications. It does not care if you are a consultant anaesthetist in a tertiary hospital, or a volunteer ambulance officer in the middle of Upper Hillbilly West, Nowhere. The patients we see are the same patients that the trauma surgeon sees at the tertiary trauma center. As medical professionals it is incumbent upon us to do all we can to provide the best care we possibly can, wherever we are, whoever we are. There is no better conference to take part in if this is our goal, as SMACC deals entirely with concepts of care on the cutting edge of emergency medicine.
Speaking of being professionals, it is important now as we strive for recognition of our particular place in the medical world to engage with our colleagues in critical care. Irrespective of university qualifications, registration, autonomy, pay-packets or anything else, to be accepted by our physician peers we need to demonstrate that we are deserving of the respect afforded to fellow medical professionals. What better way to do this than to show our passion, our knowledge, our caring and our intentions by being involved in the conversations around cutting edge patient care?
At the inaugural SMACC conference there were a smattering of paramedics, from HEMS, ground based services and some paramedic students in attendance. All of us got an enormous amount out of the experience, so I hope we will see many more paramedics taking part next year. Don’t forget that paramedics pay a reduced rate to attend, and that for some (sorry cuzzie-bros from NZ!) it is a tax deductible exercise.
Head on over to the SMACC website and check out the program and the speakers. Registration opens on the 16th of September, so get in early as I suspect that places will sell fast after the amazing success of the first conference.
Let me know if you are attending and maybe we can organise some drinks for those of us who drive the big white taxis!