SAN DIEGO—Emergency physician Christopher Herald, MD, FACEP, stood over the brunette and watched as the pregnant woman’s pupils constricted in the light. He imagined how useful it would be to practice delivering her child.
You see, the woman was a high-end simulator at the ACEP18 Exhibit Hall. Dr. Herald is an emergency physician at Sparrow Carson Hospital in Carson City, Michigan, which recently lost its labor and delivery department.
That means those duties now fall to Dr. Herald and his colleagues. And just knowing that such an advanced simulator is out there means he can seek out an academic center near him that might have one he could train on to be a better physician.
Welcome to the non-clinical side of ACEP’s annual meeting. It’s where physicians network for job opportunities, check out features like innovatED, and learn about the wellness improvement techniques for which they normally don’t have time.
“The best way to see what all the new technology, devices, and procedures are in emergency medicine is to come to this show and see the exhibits,” Dr. Herald said. “The show, in general, is the best place to get up-to-date information on new treatment and management of emergency patients.”
This meeting is ACEP’s biggest ever, drawing a record 7,483 four-day paid attendees. Some came to celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary, highlighted by a pop-up museum exhibit. Others came to network in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, a stretch of which was exclusively reserved just for the convention attendees for a few hours Monday night.
Many came for the Exhibit Hall, the annual bazaar of everything from life-like mannequins to better finger tourniquets, and everything in between.
“There’s usually new equipment and modifications in equipment we already use,” said Mohines Pala, MD, MBBS, an emergency physician from Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. “Those modifications do make a difference when it comes to patient management. And we don’t learn unless we come here.”
Another thing emergency physicians get here is wellness. The annual focus on health professionals taking better care of themselves got even more hands-on this year with visits from therapy dogs and Bo, a certified therapy pig and a veritable Instagram star.
Canadian emergency physician Bruce Campana, MD, FRCPC, FACEP, gave Bo a few back scratches and admitted he already felt better.
Wellness is “hugely important and part of the reason is because we ignore it,” he said. “In an emergency, you’re not allowed to think about that. In an emergency, it’s go, go, go! You’ve got to do this stuff…I think it’s a huge deal that we neglect [our own wellness], and people are hurting because of it. So this is brilliant.”