December 13, 2016

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the ACEP Section of Event Medicine! We are the 34th section within the ACEP family and are extremely thankful to you (our members) for making the Event Medicine Section a reality. Currently, we have over one hundred members and we would love to grow to over 200 members so please tell your friends and EM colleagues to join the section as they can brag they were part of the inaugural year of the Section on Event Medicine! 2016 -2017 will have some growing pains as we need to square away all of the section paperwork but we will also put in for a Section Grant which will help to start work on a textbook/handbook on Event Medicine.

I’ve asked each of the Event Medicine inaugural board members to give the background on how they came to be involved in Event Medicine. My exposure to event medicine came through auto racing. As I thought about my involvement with racing car events I can trace it actually to my childhood when I went to the Indianapolis 500 time trial races every year with my father. Those were the days of very seriously or fatally injured drivers and race fans. I remember sitting in the stands close to the track when the open wheel cars would wreck in the turn and I could feel the heat from the explosion of the fuel that would follow the race car as it careened around the turn in a heaping wreck. I would read about Dr. Terry Trammel as he put back together Rick Mears broken metatarsels for the 2nd and 3rd times before the safety cage was invented to protect the racers feet. Racing safety has come such a long way since then!

I then went off to Michigan State University where I became interested in biomechanics and actually did graduate work with Dr. Robert Hubbard who had invented the HANS racing device, which protected racers cervical spines from injury. I then volunteered to work the Detroit Grand Prix Events when I was an EM resident and that moment is when I became hooked on Event Medicine. At the time I did not have any idea this would ever become a passion and part-time career of mine in the future. I then met Dr. John Maino who hired me (I can actually get paid to do this?) to work at the Michigan International Speedway for two NASCAR Events and one IRL event each season. I occasionally would work as track physician for practice laps but that was not that much fun as the only patient I ever had was the chef for the racing teams who had cut his finger slicing an onion.

I have been involved in Event Medicine for over 20 years and as I eluded to in the title I think Event Medicine is on its first lap of a 200 lap race and I see great things in our future and an additional way for Emergency Physicians to apply their skillset in a setting that is different from the emergency department and serves a public health need. Thank you for the opportunity to be your inaugural chair and I look forward to a great year together.

Sincerely,

Mark Sochor, MD, MS, FACEP
Chair, ACEP Section of Event Medicine