February 28, 2022

From the Chair

Vaishal Tolia, MD, MPH
Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine
Medical Director, UC San Diego Health

It has been a pleasure serving as chair of such a diverse, talented, and critically valuable section within ACEP. The last two years have presented innumerable challenges to our daily lives. Our specialty has faced issues concerning equality, workforce, burnout, excessive boarding, and pandemic related stress, among many others. As witnessed by the perseverance of those in our specialty, the dual trained members and trainees have stepped up to take on a tremendous responsibility to lead during these challenging and uncertain times in emergency medicine.

At our last informal section meeting at ACEP21 in Boston, we discussed some opportunities for collaboration among residency programs in the form of an exchange program. In addition, we discussed collaboration with other sections, such as the Observation Medicine Section and the Geriatric Emergency Medicine Section, as dual trained physicians have the optimal skill set to lead in those areas. We also had a broad reaching discussion on pathways to leadership and different opportunities that having a dual trained background provide us uniquely in both academic and community emergency medicine. One such example was the creation of procedure teams in the hospital setting that could benefit a busy emergency department (ED) and particularly the inpatient medicine service that is often constrained from performing timely procedures, deferring to interventional radiology or other services. Last, we discussed formalizing a minimum requirement for students that provides more transparency for those interested in pursuing a dual training residency program.

Our formal section meeting was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the limitations over Zoom, we had a robust discussion, including our councillor update, which was focused on a lot of workforce related topics. I also wanted to recognize Dr. David Marcus on running an extremely successful virtual residency fair last summer. Finally, we were fortunate to have a presentation on crisis management and burnout by Dr. Jack Rozel, medical director, Resolve Crisis Services of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, associate professor of psychiatry and adjunct professor of law, University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Rozel’s presentation really resonated with our section, given the uphill battle we have been facing for at least two years, if not longer. It's important to recognize the toll this has taken on all of us, but also the resilience that many have shown and the importance of continued mindfulness to help ourselves and others to rise above and persevere.

On that note, Dr. Alan You (section chair-elect) and I will be sending out more information soon on Clubhouse (available in the App store) chats specifically for our section membership, so we can all connect more often and informally. This increased engagement will allow (audio) discussion on a number of topics, interesting cases, health policy, job opportunities, or just provide a time to connect with colleagues and friends from around the country.

I wish you all a wonderful 2022 and hope to see you at ACEP22 in San Francisco!