The issues of wellness, burnout, and resiliency have snowballed across nearly all health professions. Emergency Medicine (EM) specifically was singled out as one of the specialties with highest risk for burnout at >60%.1 There has been much discussion around the general “UN-wellness” of medicine, and we now feel that there is a dire need for action. Instead of tackling the entire spectrum of wellness throughout medicine, we wanted to focus on EM residents. As a response to this need, we are proud to announce the launch of the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank, which is a private virtual community comprised of EM residents across North America. What better stakeholder group to address the world of EM residency wellness than EM residents themselves?
With the start of the year, we welcomed a new group of faces into our respective residency programs. We can all still remember how daunting it was to tackle learning the immense volume of material to be a great emergency medicine physician. We have so many amazing resources, but no road maps for where to start. The purpose of this list is to help guide the new interns as well as to highlight some resources that even the more seasoned clinician may find useful.
One of the most difficult parts of residency and medical education is coordination and communication. Often residents and faculty alike can be found drowning in a never ending onslaught of emails, with chains of projects getting buried amongst reply-all’s and attachments. Over the course of the past year, our residency program at Doctors Hospital-OhioHealth in Columbus, Ohio has been using a newer form of communication to facilitate the dissemination of information and collaboration as a group.
After some initial exploration into technology and apps, it was decided to try out the program called Slack. Designed to help large groups work together as well as separately on projects simultaneously, we felt this may be our solution to the clunky and at times unbearable onslaught of emails. For those of you interested in taking your residency or group to the next level, below are our observations from the past year in a simple do’s and dont’s fashion.
The ALiEM Approved Instructional Resources (AIR) and AIR-Pro series are moving from this ALiEM blog, which uses embedded Google Forms for quizzes into our custom learning management system called ALiEMU. ALiEMU will be our one-stop system for asynchronous learning. For U.S. EM residency programs, this will also serve as a central repository for Individualized Interactive Instruction (III) resources for asynchronous conference credit. The cornerstone e-course already on ALiEMU is CAPSULES — a comprehensive EM pharmacology curriculum, whose authorship and editorial team is led by Dr. Bryan Hayes.
For the AIR and AIR-Pro series, we have over 80 U.S. EM residency programs, 4 international EM programs, and 1 PA program using either or both of these series as a part of their didactic curriculum. With over one year’s worth of educational content, we now want to make the user experience more friendly such that one can longitudinally track progress, and programs and easily report their residents’ total III hours for the academic year to the Residency Review Committee (RRC).
It is with great pleasure that we announce the first edition of the ALiEM In-Training Exam Prep Book in both PDF and iBook form. This free book was a year-long project from the Chief Resident Incubator, led by the Editors Dr. Michael Gottlieb, Dr. Dorothy Habrat, Dr. Margaret Sheehy, Dr. Samuel Zidovetsky, and Dr. Adaira Chou with the support of Associate Editors Dr. Nikita Joshi and Dr. Michelle Lin. Over 90 EM residents and faculty from the Incubator and across U.S. emergency medicine residency programs contributed board-review type questions. Five practice tests are included for those preparing for the in-training exam (also known as the in-service exam) or even for the ABEM written board exam. You can download the free PDF or iBook below.
There is no shortage of free open access medical education (FOAM) resources available to the current emergency medicine (EM) learner. It seems that no matter what the concept, FOAM has it covered. And radiology is no different. However, with a specialty as vast as radiology, finding educational material pertinent to the emergency practitioner can be overwhelming. The 2016-2017 ALiEM Chief Resident (CRincubator) class also encountered this when attempting to create an organized FOAM radiology curriculum for EM residents. To tackle this challenge, the chief residents have brought together the best online resources to help EM practitioners gain expertise in the field of radiology.
We often have less than optimal IV access to administer fluids, blood products, and medications in sick ED patients. If more than one medication needs to be infused in the same line, how do we know if they are compatible? The gold standard for checking IV compatibility is Trissel’s Stability of Compounded Formulations. 1 But a textbook doesn’t help us in critical situations. Is there a better way?