EMRA Continues to Represent its Members on the Largest Stages
Hello EMRA members! It has been so exciting serving as your Vice Speaker. I joined the now 13,000+ members of EMRA for the same reasons you did – because I believe passionately in advancing emergency medicine.
So much has already happened since the New Year! An entirely new group of residents matched into emergency medicine in March, and the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula was repealed in early April. As your Board of Directors, we participated in the Legislative Advocacy Conference and Leadership Summit (LAC) this past May in Washington, DC. There we learned how to be the best possible advocates for our specialty and for our patients. As every year, physicians from around the United States stormed Capitol Hill to advocate for our specialty and patients regarding several different topics:
- Funding regionalization of emergency care pilot projects, trauma systems planning grants, trauma care center grants, and trauma service availability grants.
- Supporting legislation to provide resources for patients with mental illness, including training for emergency medical and law enforcement personnel to recognize individuals with mental health.
- Supporting legislation that would reduce the practice of boarding psychiatric patients in the ED.
- Supporting the “Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act of 2015,” which provides physicians, both EM and on-call, who perform EMTALA services temporary protections.
After LAC we all traveled cross-country for a fantastic meeting at SAEM in San Diego. We had an awesome EMRA Quiz Show (congrats to our tying winning teams UCSD and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi), mingled with academicians, and of course danced until the early hours at an epic EMRA party. Additionally, the Representative Council passed four new resolutions:
- A resolution honoring Dr. Saadia Akhtar, CORD President, for her dedication and service to EMRA and her contributions to emergency medicine resident education.
- A bylaws change reinstating the fellowship membership category. At ACEP14, the EMRA Board of Directors was tasked with investigating the membership needs of fellows. Some fellows desire full active membership, including EMRA benefits, while others preferred being EMRA alumni members while pursuing FACEP via ACEP membership. The resolution that passed allows fellows to participate in EMRA as either alumni or fellows, depending on their needs.
- A bylaws revision clarifying international membership.
- A policy compendium addition, encouraging the development of curricula in public health.
After voting on our official business, the council had the most robust town hall discussion ever! The main discussion topics centered on how to make the representative council sessions better for our program reps and how to increase leadership opportunities for EMRA members. Your reps overwhelmingly told us that they value the in-person aspect of two council sessions, and we brainstormed many ways on how to continue to improve those sessions. We explored ways to disseminate more information about what occurs in the council sessions, and more on what is happening within EMRA overall. We had a hearty discussion on the report on affiliate membership in ACEP. Most voiced concerns about expanding ACEP membership to affiliates, and we will represent those concerns when the ACEP report is published in June. We will continue to represent your voice and the voice of your reps when it comes to these large topics that affect not just our organization, but our specialty, and sometimes medicine as a whole.
With our discussion, our members asked, and we listened! At the rep council meeting at ACEP15, not only will you vote on resolutions and elect new board members, but you will find out what's happening in EMRA. The committee and division chairs will update you on not only what is hot in EM right now, but also what great programming and opportunities there are for you to take back to your programs. One highlight includes the Education Committee's 20 in 6 Resident Lecture Competition that will debut at ACEP15. Presenters are given six minutes and 20 PowerPoint slides to lecture on any topic that is relevant to emergency medicine; the best presenter wins. Application deadline is July 1, 2015. We anticipate that this will be a landmark competition and set the mark for EMRA programming for years to come. We hope to continue to provide quality national programming that can be brought back to your local residency. So many of the great EMRA activities and offerings come from our members; if you have more awesome ideas, let us know, and we will continue to work towards making our organization better.
We are all looking forward to seeing you in Boston this fall!