Yesterday I had the privilege to participate in the emergency medicine symposium held by BadEM in Cape Town. Conferences, symposiums and workshops that attract big name-speakers are often expensive and definitely unaffordable to students. This symposium not only attracted THE big names in Emergency Medicine in South Africa, it was also FREE allowing everyone to participate and it filled 400 seats.
The BadEm team are great believers in the power of social media, especially free open access medical education (FOAMed) and the power of social media was once again demonstrated. By mid-morning (if not earlier) #BADEM16 was trending on twitter. Word about what is important in emergency care in Africa gained a global audience and tweets were flowing in from all over the world. How brilliant!
The BADEM16 talks was thought –provoking and covered themes including to stop using first world solutions for the developing world; should we be training CPR in low resource settings; owning up and learning from mistakes, errors and omissions; how to have the difficult death conversation with the family and how to allow the patient to die with dignity. And that we need new solutions for the same old problems.
I found it refreshing that clinical expertise took a bit of backseat, allowing the conversation to be on things that I think really matters, such as how do we develop sustainable cost-effective systems that the patients can trust and where people actually want to and can effectively work in the system.
Emergency Medicine is leading the way to new frontiers. By creating global awareness, the need for emergency care systems can become a priority, resulting in better resource allocation and investment into emergency care systems.
In conclusion, this is without doubt an exciting time in the development of emergency care in Africa. I feel incredibly blessed to be part of the story that we are writing, the story of how emergency care in Africa was developed. To the BADEM team, well done!
See some pics below
NS – a blog to follow shortly on my talk and the fact that there is no free lunch