The ACEP Logo: What it Really Means


ACEP has a new look this week, a logo designed to commemorate 40 years of service to emergency physicians and their patients.

The original ACEP logo dates back to the founding year of 1968. Emergency medicine was rapidly growing and its practitioners were feeling the need to organize. In Michigan Dr. John G. Wiegenstein had pulled together a few emergency physicians and started ACEP, but it was a national organization in ambition only. Then Dr. Wiegenstein heard of a meeting planned to organize the country’s emergency physicians. The organizer, Dr. Ronald Leidelmeyer of Maryland, was invited to Michigan for a parley but he was unimpressed with ACEP’s bivouac office—an overturned box and some card chairs in a basement storage room of the Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS).

Dr. Wiegenstein vowed to present a more professional front at the actual meeting, and enlisted the help of MSMS executive director Herbert Auer. They needed a logo for the printed material — something new and forward looking. "I don’t want any snakes," said Dr. Wiegenstein. Auer covertly enlisted his son Art, who had some design experience. Young Auer envisioned a square composed of 64 smaller squares. One square was missing—it became the dot in the ‘i’ in American — and represents the absence of emergency medicine from the framework of American organized medicine at that time.

From this secret assignment Art Auer would become ACEP’s executive director, overseeing a critical period in the history of emergency medicine in the United States. To help celebrate 4 decades of ACEP achievement, we’re going to trace the evolution of emergency medicine through the eyes of ACEP with weekly web notes.

Next week: The Revolutionary Flying Ambulance of Napoleon's Surgeon 


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