SMACC DownUnder!

There is a natural synergy between emergency medicine and intensive care — at least I think so, otherwise I’ve wasted my time training in two specialties! I’m reassured that other people — such as my EMCrit buddy Scott Weingart, he of the ‘Upstairs care, downstairs’ mantra (or is it Downstairs patients, Upstairs…?), and my colleagues at EM Critical Care — seem to agree.

The symbiosis and overlap between these fields of medicine is particularly prominent in the world of social media. While emergency medicine leads from the front in the way it’s practitioners have embraced blogs, podcasts, Twitter and other elements of FOAM, the ICU world is also slowly waking up and coming to the party (think Intensive Care Network, Jeffrey Guy’s ICU Rounds and PulmCCM.org).

But it is even bigger than this.

The legendary Peter Safar (if I remember correctly) once said that critical illness is a condition that starts prehospital, and then continues in the ED, the wards, the ICU and the OR. It knows no walls, it respects no geographic borders. It is no surprise then that the FOAM revolution continues to reveal our deep affinity with our prehospital colleagues (the likes of Resus.ME and PHARM for instance) as well as those MacGyvers of medicine we often used to forget, yet who deal with the sickest of the sick with the least resources (yep, I mean remote practitioners and GP proceduralists like BroomeDocs).

But it is not just in the US and Australasia that this is happening. Joe Lex is collecting talks from the world over for everyone’s benefit (FreeEmergencyTalks.net), the Poms are coming to the party (e.g. StEmlyns) and we are finding new FOAM friends throughout Europe, South America and – hopefully soon – more to come from Africa and Asia.

Thanks to FOAM and social media it is easier to see that we’re all on the same page. We all want to save lives, or failing that, relieve the suffering of the critically ill.

But some of us have felt that something is still missing.

What if we could actually bring all these people together in one place? One place where we could all talk about how emergency medicine AND intensive care AND social media come together? One place where we could all learn from one another, and ultimately create resources that could be shared online with the fast-growing FOAM community?

The place exists.

It is Sydney, and the time is March 11th to March 13th 2013. The venue is the Sydney Conference and Entertainment Centre. The event is:

SMACC is being organised by dual qualified intensivist and emergency physician Roger Harris (@smacc2013) and his crew, together with the guys from the Intensive Care Network (Matt and Oli — @rollcagemedic and @oliflower) and with a bit of help from LITFL. It promises to be a meeting like no other and will feature a number of heavyweights from the EMCC FOAM world (plus the odd lightweight!) as well some of the biggest names from more traditional EMCC spheres.

Mike Cadogan and I will be there, but the list of other keynotes is much more impressive — check them out:

  • Joe Lex (@JoeLex5) … no introduction needed.
  • Scott Weingart (@EMCrit)… that’s right, EMCrit is coming to the SMACC DownUnder!
  • Simon Carley (@EMManchester)… Professor of Emergency Medicine in Manchester, Associate Editor of the Emergency Medical Journal and co-founder of amazing resources like BestBets.org and StEmlyns.
  • Simon Finfer… heard of DECRA, NICE SUGAR, PROWESS SHOCK, ARISE, SAFE, RENAL, MERIT? Thought so!
  • John Myburgh… the first President of CICM and a man who has forgotten more about intensive care than I’ll ever hope to know…
  • Victoria Brazil (@SocratesEM)… emergency physician and medical educator extraordinaire from Queensland.
  • Anthony Holley… dynamic Queensland-based dual qualified intensivist and emergency physician, educator and military medico.
  • Cliff Reid (@cliffreid)… pre-hospital education guru with Sydney HEMS who sometimes thinks he lives in a cartoon.

Image by @squartadoc – click image for source.

There has been a huge amount of enthusiasm expressed about this not-for-profit event from our FOAM and social media friends all over the globe. We’re hoping to have as many of them there as possible — the LITFL crew, Minh (@rfdsdoc) and Casey (@broomedocs) are all looking forward to it — and those that can’t make it will have the opportunity to make their presence felt in other ways. The event will live and breathe social media, it will reach out to everyone through Twitter, have ultrasound gurus like Laleh (@sonospot), Matt and Mike (@ultrasoundpod) on the other side of the world adjudicating the first SonoGames DownUnder, while a 24 hour online round-the-world journal club continues via video feed and Weingart, Minh and Clifford Reid watch specialties go head to head in the SimWars to end all SimWars!

As many of the resources as possible will be made available through the FOAM community either contemporaneously or at a later date so that everyone everywhere can benefit.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Most of all it will be about meeting people. We’d like to see you there. And if you can’t be there in person, we’d like you to be there anyway through the web.

Get involved. Check out the SMACC website now.

Vive la FOAM!

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Comments

  1. Mike Jasumback says

    Ok, I looked at the website for the conference earlier, now my computer says its a “Verified Fraud Site”, yikes.

    Anyway, I went back to look at the agenda to find out if anyone is speaking from the perspective of the End User. It’s all well and good to get all the podcaster, blogger folk together to slap each other on the back and congratulate themselves. What of the end user? People like me.

    Given the ethic of FOAM there is no clear feedback loop. I can’t vote with my dollars by going elsewhere. Sure you might get one less Twitter follower, but how do YOU, the provider of FOAM knwo that what you are doing is helpful? Generally, I suspect, you don’t.

    Someone needs to speak on behalf of the End User. There needs to be serious discussions of the ethics of FOAM and the responsibilities of the providers of FOAM. Otherwise this is all a bunch of self congratulatory bloviating.

    Mike Jasumback, MD

    • says

      Hi Mike

      Great comment.

      Firstly I understand that the server hosting the SMACC website had a problem, but I have been assured that it is now fixed.

      Secondly, I think you have an interesting point. While ideally I see everyone being part creator, part-consumer of FOAM through blogs, podcasts, twitter or leaving comments on the aforementioned it would be ludicrous to pretend that most people are not predominately one or the other.

      Partly we hope that by getting people together -- face to face and over the web -- at this time will help foster discussion about where there is all going and provide some feedback. But maybe we need a more defined platform for this to happen.

      Perhaps we need an ‘open Jasumback’ session (i.e. ‘open mike’) where wild card entrants get a chance to express their views either in person or fed into the conference via the web, then later distributed through the FOAM sites.

      If you have any other ideas Mike, I’d love to hear them.

      Cheers mate,
      Chris

      • says

        Hi Mike
        I think your initial thoughts are correct and in fact what you are wanting is exactly what we are trying to do at smacc? I suspect that because of the server failure on the weekend you weren’t able to read through the site properly but in short..

        To start the feedback like this blog and your comments and others on twitter etc are already shaping the program before the meeting has already started… I have never seen this before. You guys geyt a say on what you want and we are listening!

        Additionally to some extent every session will have a feedback loop via twitter, FB, Google+ etc. For instance in the am plennary session on SM and in the afternoon debate on the future of medical education and FOAM there will be the live twitter feed broadcast into those sessions via a twitter moderator. This will mean that we can all tweet our opinions on what is being discussed and at regular intervals the chairperson of that session will cross to the Twitter Moderator for an update. The Moderator will project the feed live and highlight a couple of Tweets which sum up the collective discussion at that point… This will then directly impact the keynote discussion and hopefully interrupt the back-slapping Mike is worried about.
        Of course the discussion on Twitter and FB etc will continue long after the session has finished so there should be a chance for all to have their say.
        In my view the whole conference will be the best open-mic session ever as rather than one crazy person hogging the mic as happens at most big meetings, the whole community can connect via twitter and have their say. The challenge for us is channelling the twitter into the meeting to improve the connectivity??
        I hope this explains things better and look forward to everyones input.

    • says

      Hi Mike,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Couple of points:
      1. the server fault has been sorted and the site is now clean and fully operational: http://www.smacc.net.au
      2. We genuinely believe this form of conference is the most “you-centric” that can be imagined:
      You can suggest topics or speakers for the conference, you can interact with us and them in the lead up to the conference and most significantly, actually AT the conference.
      There will be a feedback loop via twitter, FB, Google+ in real time.
      For instance, in the am plennary session on SM and in the afternoon debate on the future of medical education and FOAM there will be the live twitter feed broadcast into those sessions via a twitter moderator. This will mean that we can all tweet our opinions on what is being discussed and at regular intervals the chairperson of that session will cross to the Twitter Moderator for an update. The Moderator will project the feed live and highlight a couple of Tweets which sum up the collective discussion at that point. This will then directly impact the keynote discussion and hopefully interrupt any over-enthusiastic back-slapping that you’re worried about….
      Of course the discussion on Twitter and FB etc will continue long after the session has finished so there should be a chance for all to have their say. The whole conference will be the best open-mike session ever!
      We have also asked more traditional conference speakers such as John Myburgh and Simon Finfer, who have no affiliation with the existing #FOAMed movement and they’re there for excellent content rather than to promote #FOAMed. This is a heavyweight critical care conference supported and enhanced by the #FOAMed community.

  2. Casey says

    Hi Mike
    Although I might be seen as a fellow of the backslapping FOAM club I would like to comment.
    Until a year or so ago I was a pure consumer of med Ed -- mainly in traditional formats, conferences etc. When I discovered Emcrit, LITFL etc I realized that this type of interactive, learning is ideal for guys like me (andyou?). We need quality, bite-sized packets of education.
    This is a difficult thing to measure -- hell it is free -- an economists nightmare.
    Where is the quality control? Who decides if Weingart has said something that is not really kosher (femoral central line debate…..)

    My opinion : if we have a truly open forum, where everyone has a voice , plenty of good teachers and researchers involved then we will create a self-regulating, Darwinian- style system. The good stuff will go viral and the crap will be forgotten.

    On the flip side -- who is doing quality control in the truly brain-numbing lectures we continue to deliver to students and juniors in the current system? Not the tenured professors me thinks!

    Casey

  3. Mike Jasumback says

    Thanks for all of your responses. I have had a constant concern with both the #FOAMed and other pay for play online resources in that they tend to lack an editing function. I fully agree that the pay-for-attendance conferences suffer this same flaw. Many of those are accompanied by reference to peer reviewed references but the potential for selection bias is not controlled for.

    With respect to the “editing function” I refer to above, what I’m really talking about is the ability to respond. This has changed markedly over the last year or two with most of the major sites that I use having a response forum similar to this one.

    What would be truly powerful, and I’ve suggested it before, is a general forum where the topics discussed in a given #FOAMed (and/or pay-to-play) product could be discussed and brought to a wider audience. Unfortunately this hasn’t been received with great fanfare and would require a strong moderator presence.

    I hope the Darwinian approach works. I suspect some of the issues will be dealt with in a more Hegelian manner.

    The good news is that for the tech savvy #FOAMed is the wave of the future. Pity the poor luddite like me.

    Mike

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