Professor Jim Ducharme
I have been asked to summarize the highlights for IFEM this year as we near the end of the year. I do so with trepidation as I am always afraid I will miss someone’s amazing efforts or an event that many found critical but I did not, often simply due to perspective. To anyone that I do not mention, it is due only to oversight, and I apologize ahead of time.
The most important event from my viewpoint was the WHO resolution passed in May, a resolution that affirmed that access to emergency medical care is a basic right for every person on this globe. This will energize the thousands of health care workers dedicating their time to help emergency medicine develop in every country, and ultimately help save lives that would till now not be saved.
I have always espoused the belief of collaboration. That by working together we can achieve so much more. Our Committees and Special Interest Groups have been more productive in 2019 than ever before. The Core Curriculum and Education and Research Committees have combined under the guidance of Erin Simon to produce the Research Primer for those wishing to do research in LMICs. The Behavioural Emergencies SIG is uploading a considerable bank of presentations and educational material to the IFEM website. Both Paediatrics and Quality and Safety have published high quality position statements. Geriatrics and Paediatrics are changing the way we learn and communicate with their Marketplace approach to education.
We have hired staff for our Head Office, with a new ability to focus on communication – both internally and externally. We are now publishing in more than one language on a regular basis, with the Spanish language translation working group leading the way. A video promoting IFEM and a targeted effort for fundraising will further our ability to fund IFEM projects. Our Communications Committee is much more active, helping this key priority.
The 2019 ICEM in Seoul set new levels of attendance and brought to us an insight of the excellence to be found in South Korea – it makes one anticipate eagerly our next meeting in Buenos Aires in June 2020.
These amazing efforts have carried an indirect effect – that of rapidly growing collaboration and interaction between IFEM and other regional organizations. Regional societies such as AFEM, EuSEM, FLAME, ASEM are taking tremendous strides in helping grow emergency medicine, and we are seeing a close relationship with IFEM. Founding Members of IFEM have all assessed their roles within IFEM, and are all developing how their activities can mesh optimally with those of IFEM. Other IFEM members are formally committing to active involvement in IFEM. This renewed involvement is due in large part to IFEM stepping up and becoming more visible and more productive. Their renewed involvement will accelerate the ever expanding activities within IFEM. Success breeds success.
I am privileged to be in the position that oversees this growth and energy, this cooperation and collaboration. We are witnessing the maturation of IFEM and the global development of emergency medicine; we are seeing this because of all of the volunteers who have donated their expertise, their time and their efforts. I can only say ‘thank you’ to all of you. I cannot wait to see what 2020 will bring – it is like waiting to unwrap a birthday present you just know is what you have always wanted!