Thank you to the Class of 2010 for giving me the opportunity to attend ACEP’s ED Direc-tors Academy (EDDA) in Dallas, Texas. This program provided me with invaluable man-agement/operations training and professional development skills that I will utilize through-out my career.
Throughout my education and training, I have strived to maximize the impact I can have for my patients by complementing my clinical training with targeted experiences and education in leadership and operations. The ED Directors Academy was a perfect opportunity for me to build on experiences that I had prior to and during residency. The Directors Academy is a management training course that brings together leaders from across the nation to partici-pate in courses addressing a wide range of topics related to managing an emergency de-partment.
This experience allowed me to not only gain knowledge on specialized topics from experts in the field but also interact and network with innovative and inspiring leaders from across the nation. The coursework included diverse topics such as leadership, operations, emer-gency department flow, patient satisfaction, hospital quality, billing, and many others. All of these provided me with concepts that I could immediately apply to my administrative work as a resident. However, potentially even more valuable than this was the accelerated professional development I obtained by networking with other leaders and learning from their unique experiences within diverse practice environments across the emergency medi-cine landscape. I gained insight into what a career in administration entails, the conflicting and multi-faceted challenges that an administrator faces, and how to balance those respon-sibilities with maintaining clinical expertise while simultaneously preventing the burnout that many administrators experience.
My long-term career goal is to become a leader within an emergency department and hospi-tal while striving to optimize operational systems, maximize efficiency, and eliminate waste in order to provide the highest level of care for my patients. I firmly believe that quality clinical care must be supported by synergistic processes and systems that allow physicians to maximize their effectiveness and enhance the patient experience. The EDDA program was a unique experience that allowed me to continue to learn and grow as a leader in emer-gency medicine and will ultimately be instrumental to my future success.
Thanks to the Class of 2010’s generous gift I was able to travel to Roatán, Honduras for my 4th year elective. I spent the month teaching local physicians the basics of Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) at Clínica Esperanza. This clinic, located on Roatán, one of the three Honduran Bay Islands, is resource-limited, with no access to XR, CT or MRI. Ultrasound (US) is the only diagnostic imaging modality available to the physicians in the clinic. Unfortunately US expertise is limited on the island and the physicians are not trained in basic POCUS.
Elizabeth Dearing MD, NUEM ’15 travelled to the clinic in 2015 to lay the ground-work for US education. However, physician turn-over at the clinic is high therefore the group that Dr. Dearing trained had already left by the time I arrived. The current physicians had minimal to no experience using US, including the physician assigned to the OB/GYN patients. An on-going US educational relationship with the clinic is key.
I taught an introductory POCUS lecture and spent 6 hours per day for 3 weeks teaching hands-on US skills at the bedside to two physicians in the clinic. Initially the physicians weren’t sure how to turn on their machines, how to correctly orient the probes or even why they would consider using an US machine. By the end of my time at the clinic, they were successfully identifying intrauterine pregnancies and IUD’s on transvaginal US, checking fetal heart tones, identifying the sex of fetuses, diagnosing biliary colic, renal colic and abdominal aortic aneurysms! We even introduced the bedside diagnosis of pneumonia!
Originally the clinic had 2 small US machines- one point of care unit that was collecting dust and another small but non-portable machine. Shortly before my arrival, the clinic acquired a larger comprehensive machine which a skilled and talented local US tech used one day per week for comprehensive scans. This tech was unfortunately overwhelmed by the volume of scans and unable to complete them in a timely fashion. The introduction of POCUS was fundamental in order to decrease the number of comprehensive scans ordered in order to aid in more rapid diagnosis of time-sensitive conditions.
As a current US fellow, this elective was integral in developing my understanding of teaching US in a resource-limited setting in addition to developing skills in order to teach US novices. This experience also highlighted the importance of a longitudnal continued relationship with the clinic and I plan to return to continue the US education.
Lucky for me, Roatán is also a beautiful Caribbean island therefore downtime was as equally enjoyable. Among many other adventures, I learned to scuba-dive and met a sloth!
Thank you again to the Class of 2010- your generosity will not be forgotten!
Thank you to the Spirit of 2010 for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Ecela Spanish Schools in South America. The ability to pursue this type of training was a rare experience and provided skills that will be invaluable over my career.
Prior to enrolling in medical school, I had studied Spanish for several years in school, but had not had the opportunity to receive formalized Spanish language instruction since college. Next year, I will be working in a community with a significant Spanish-speaking population – I wanted to make sure that I can easily communicate with my patients.
For my elective experience, I attended courses through the Ecela Spanish schools in Chile and Argentina. This experience provided a cultural and language immersion with training through a well-established, structured Spanish immersion course. The program set-up involved several small group lessons with a focus on grammar and fluency, followed by conversation classes led by an instructor. During the conversation classes, we would focus on the concepts learned in the preceding grammar class. I also took several hours of semi-private lessons with an emphasis on medical vocabulary, history taking, and the physical exam. In addition, we practiced consenting for procedures, describing medical treatments, and answering patient questions. Our instructors also took the time to focus on some important cultural aspects of communication that are unique to Spanish. In addition, we discussed common cultural practices and customs, as well as colloquial or slang terms that patients may commonly use.
One of the benefits of being in an immersion setting is that you are speaking Spanish for the entire day – not just in class. As a consequence, you improve much more rapidly than in a typical class setting. In addition, learning Spanish in two different countries (with vastly different cultures and accents, despite being geographically adjacent) was incredibly useful. I feel that this will help me to better understand and communicate with Spanish speaking patients from different parts of Central or South America.
I learned a great deal through the courses and felt that my fluency improved to a significant degree. Since returning, I have noted a significant improvement in my ability to use Spanish on shift. One patient in particular stands out – she gave me a hug at the end of her visit and told me how grateful and relieved she was that her doctor spoke Spanish. I hope to use the skills I have gained to provide the best possible patient care both next year and throughout my career.
Thank you again to the Class of 2010 for supporting this rare opportunity and incredible learning experience.