P atricia (Trish) Blair, MD, a co-founder of the American Association of Women Emergency Physicians (AAWEP), has died after a two-year battle with cancer. Trish was born in 1945 to an active military family, which must have made her into the amazingly gregarious, resourceful, and adaptive person she was.
She began her career as a trauma surgeon but fell in love with emergency medicine, practicing as faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine and chairing an emergency department at a Kaiser hospital, where she developed a trauma management system that was then adopted systemwide.
Trish was a cherished friend and mentor to me and to all the women in the American College of Emergency Physicians in the early 1980s. In 1985, she co-founded and was the first president of Women in Emergency Medicine (now AAWEP). She inspired other young women to leadership by hosting leadership training sessions, teaching effective communication and speaking skills, developing various awards, instilling a sense of service capability and entitlement, and honoring all the newly-minted women diplomates of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) with a networking dessert reception each year after the ACEP Council meeting. It was so scrumptious that no leader could resist attending. The ABEM president and a prominent politician usually spoke at these events. We knew this strategy was working upon receipt of a huge bouquet of flowers from an ACEP president who had regrettably missed the event.