Better Together

Published on July 13, 2015
Editor's Desk

Multiple recent events have pointed out the effectiveness of collaboration on global health and international emergency medicine. The containment of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is largely owing to the cooperation of civilian and military medical teams, with the prominent involvement of emergency physicians in this effort. Cuba, for example, sent a team of nearly 160 physicians, who returned home just recently, in May 2015 (read our Cuba report, Havana Knights, on page 24). In Syria and Iraq, emergency physicians from around the world have coordinated medical care efforts (also at significant personal risk) for the many refugees of the ongoing conflicts; more than 6 million Syrians have been displaced within the country and the surrounding region, and more than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced within Iraq alone.

Here in the US, I just returned from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting, in San Diego, California. I was very impressed with the accomplishments and capabilities of the emerging “new” leaders in global health and international emergency medicine. The Global Emergency Medicine Academy (GEMA) of SAEM has put together a number of web-based reference resources and has supported the international emergency medicine annual article review published in Academic Emergency Medicine. GEMA has collaborated with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) International Section in co-promoting each organization’s annual meeting activities and in addressing complimentary topics at the sequential meetings of each organization. EPI serves as a link between both organizations, with editorial staff members serving both organizations.

There has been a recent rift between two of the organizations involved in international emergency medicine, but I am hopeful that this may be resolved amicably, as collaboration—rather than competition—should be the byword for our efforts in promoting the specialty of emergency medicine globally. The opportunities in this field are enormous, if we band together, particularly in central Asia and Africa. I encourage you to attend the upcoming international emergency medicine meetings in United Arab Emirates, Poland, Russia, Cuba, Italy, Japan, Hungary, and Turkey (among others) in the remaining months of this year. Hope to see you at an upcoming conference!

Dr. Holliman is the editorial director of EPI

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