In January of 2018, I was privileged to be able to attend the “National EMS Medical Directors Course and Practicum” at the National Association of EMS Physicians Conference in San Diego, CA. This could not have been possible without the generous support from the Spirit of 2010 Award from the Northwestern EM Class of 2010 or the Goldberg Charitable Trust Scholarship. At the course I was able to learn about the not only the fundamentals of emergency medical services (EMS) medical direction from experts in the field, but also the challenges facing the field currently and in the near future for those looking to work in prehospital medicine. The course did an excellent job covering a wide variety of topics from budgeting and finances of EMS to medicolegal case studies from recent case law involving prehospital care. Another highlight of the course was the frequent small group sessions going over challenging prehospital cases that brought a wide variety of opinions and insights from across the country. Additionally, and unexpectedly, we were privileged to work with a skills lab with fresh frozen cadavers a and were guided through lateral canthotomies, perimortem C sections, difficult airway management, and resuscitative thoracotomies. This overall course and practicum helped refine not only concrete skills but also offered much in the way of leadership and professional development. The contacts made in this time were also invaluable to pursue a career in EMS and maintain relationships in relatively small community within emergency medicine.
Sincere thanks to the Class of 2010 for their support as well as the NUEM program leadership, chief residents, and program coordinators who helped make this opportunity possible!
Hashim Q. Zaidi MD