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.
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
Thanks to the exceptional generosity of the Class of 2010, I was afforded to the unique opportunity to spend an elective block working in Tuba City, AZ on the Navajo Indian Reservation. My goals in pursuing this rotation were to provide care in a rural emergency medicine department and to provide care to a community that has been systematically marginalized by government policy.
My rotation occurred from March 27th to April 19th . During the rotation I worked 12, 12-hour shifts in the Tuba City Regional Health Care Center (TCRHCC) Emergency Department, a 23 bed ED that sees approximately 47,000 patients per year. TCRHCC provides care for a catchment area of 6000 square miles and is the regional referral center for 75,000 Navajo, Hopi, Southern Piute, and the occasional tourist. The patient population is exceptionally poor, with 66% of the population living below the poverty line. Additionally 33% of patients lack indoor plumbing and 25% have dirt floors in their homes. The ER has a 5% admission rate and 20% transfer rate. The TCRHCC ED is the only ED on the Navajo Reservation that is staffed entirely by board certified emergency medicine physicians. The group of physicians pride themselves on bringing cutting edge emergency care to the people of the Navajo Nation.
The rotation is billed as rural medical elective, but it is also a cultural immersion program. Although I transferred more patients via helicopter in one shift than I have in 4 years of residency, it is the interactions with the patient population that I will cherish most. I have never worked with a more caring, friendly, and appreciative patient population. Routinely patients had bypassed outlying hospitals, driving upwards of 100 miles to receive care at TCRHCC.
In addition to a unique clinical experience, days off on the rotation provided opportunity to explore many Navajo monuments and National Parks. During my off time, I was able to visit multiple National Parks including Arches, Canyonlands, and the Grand Canyon. Additionally, I was able to visit Monument Valley, Navajo National Park designated to protect mesas from private development.
Thank you to the Spirit Award for providing me with the opportunity to attend the Humanitarian Response Intensive Course (HRIC) hosted by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. It’s been a long time dream of mine to attend this two-week workshop and it was made possible by the class of 2010.
HRIC brings humanitarians together from all over the world to learn, collaborate and their field of practice. It focuses on the tenets of humanitarian intervention and the historical context that informed these tenets. Unfortunately, humanitarian response has all too often been initiated without sufficient forethought resulting in further harm instead of relief. As doctors it’s so easy to jump at international opportunities to care for those in need, but HRIC provides a sobering reminder of the pitfalls that follow poorly planned interventions. Medical care is only as sustainable as the system providing it and unsustainable solutions may actually do more harm than good.
This year the workshop hosted 70 students ranging in age from 22 to 65, many of who have been practicing in the humanitarian world for decades. I was particularly struck by participants whose lives were directly shaped by conflict and disaster, forcing them to cut short their formal education in order to enter the humanitarian field. For example, there was a young Syrian at the workshop who had dropped out of university, moved to Lebanon and started working for an NGO to provide safe passage and shelter for Syrian refugees. He was one example of many HRIC participants who dedicate their lives to the humanitarian imperative:
That action should be taken to prevent or alleviate human suffering arising out of disaster or conflict, and that nothing should override this principle.
I was deeply moved by the embodiment of this principle among people who have been afforded lives far less flexible than mine. It was the most diverse and accomplished classroom I have ever been in. HRIC and the colleagues I met there inspired me to be pragmatic without sacrificing my ideals. This is an uncomfortable interplay full of compromise, but one that ultimately allows for evolution of my practice as a physician and a humanitarian.
Thanks to the generosity of the class of 2010, I was afforded the chance to participate in Kaiser Permanate's elective in mass gather medicine during America's Cup. The elective took place during the latter part of the summer of 2013 and involved a fascinating combination of policy discussion, large scale medical operations, and daily shifts in a makeshift emergency room. The fact that the provision of care was no different than any emergency department was itself remarkable; the coordination and planning required in this undertaking was laid out in a series of lectures and meetings with city and hospital administrators as well as regional disaster experts.
I walked into this elective wanting to expand my breadth and depth of both experience and knowledge in the field of mass gathering medicine. I walked out with an expansive appreciation for a burgeoning academic field, spurring on an interest in arenas of remote medicine, telemedicine, international medical ethics and operations. Most of the faculty mentors/instructors have ongoing involvement in disaster medical response teams and USAR and through them, I too have been moving in that direction through regional and state fire and rescue training and service.