As emergency physicians, we utilize our best judgment every day. Who’s sick? Who can be safely sent home? Can I trust this learner with this patient or procedure? In the emergency department, we must have timely access to relevant clinical information on medications, allergies, prior visits and hospitalizations, diagnoses, and previous laboratory and radiology data. We must have courage to make the tough calls when the answer isn’t always obvious and when there are considerable consequences if the call is wrong.
As an educator, I will provide relevance with my expertise in informatics and mentorship to help lead the Board. An ACEP Board member needs to have relevant context to offer actionable and on-point advice. ACEP is building CEDR, the Clinical Emergency Data Registry, which will continue to require input from informaticians. My current role on AMIA’s Board of Directors would provide ACEP with access to national expertise in this area. If you desire to vote for a Board member who has “seen the movie before” and has a pretty good idea of what’s around the next few corners as the practice of medicine changes, I am that candidate.
An often undervalued role for a Board member is that of a mentor. I’ve been fortunate in my career to have great mentors who have allowed me to grow as a leader and as an educator. I’ve also been privileged to mentor a number of learners. A great mentor doesn’t tell you what needs to be done or how to do it; he or she is primarily a good listener. A great mentor asks you questions and poses challenges designed to help you see problems that you may not have identified, to look further ahead than you may be currently looking, or to encourage a different perspective. ACEP Board members should be good listeners, offering a sounding board to test your ideas and concerns.