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#ACEP18: An EM Doc Attends via Twitter

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The 50th annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP 2018) was the most well-attended meeting yet, topping out at over 6,800 attendees.

Given that emergency departments are open 24/7, many of us had to stay behind and man the hospitals. What is one to do? Follow virtually via Twitter, of course. Here are some themes I found most interesting.

EM Docs Remember When We Didn’t Exist (and Pay Homage to Those Who Made EM Possible)

Day 1 of ACEP 2018 was all about the “Titans of the American College of Emergency Physicians” where the first members of ACEP were honored, including a former colleague of mine who I never knew was one of the first members of ACEP!

The founding mother of EM and first female EM resident Pam Benson MD was honored with the Trailblazer Award created in her honor.

Scooters Were a Huge Hit

For San Diego, being a sunny, warm city 99% of the year apparently means that electric scooters are the ideal way to get around.

At least that’s what several Twitter feeds suggested.

There were even bets being discussed as to how many EM docs would wind up as casualties. The number I saw quoted was one, so I guess EM docs are a pretty coordinated bunch. The lack of helmets being worn, however, suggests that we’re not always the best at practicing what we preach.

Diversity and Inclusion Were High-Profile Subjects

The diversity and inclusion section meeting was a standing room only event, growing to 120 members in a short 5 months! Data shared during this section meeting showed that patient outcomes are actually improved when there is a diverse workforce.

Ongoing attention was given to gender disparities, in a large part due to work by Drs. Esther Choo and Dara Kass.

A thoughtful discussion about benevolent sexism was tweeted by EM resident @mcsassmd. Benevolent sexism refers to a positively oriented bias like saying “women are more organized” or “they’re more nurturing” suggesting that women should be “cherished/protected,” which only reinforces subordinanation. Benevolent sexism is used as a reward for conforming to the female gender role whereas hostile sexism is punishment for not conforming.

Ketamine is Apparently Good for Everything

It’s good for the following:

  1. Status asthmaticus

2. Agitated trauma patients

3. Alcohol withdrawal

There’s an Increased Role for Social Media in EM

Mention was made of Twitter-famous women in emergency medicine like Drs. Esther Choo, Megan Ranney, and Dara Kass.

There were also formal Twitter ambassadors, like Dr. Justin Hensley, live-tweeting the conference.

At least 3 different EM podcasts were represented at ACEP, including ACEP Frontline hosted by Dr. Ryan Stanton…



EM Docs Apparently Know How to Throw a Party

From closing down a street in the Gaslight District for the opening party to launching actual fireworks for the closing party, EM docs know how to have a good time!

I want to end this recap with some insight from, Mel Hebert MD, a keynote speaker at ACEP 2018 who shared her reasons for why we do EM:

  1. You get to do cool sh*t w/ cool drugs + it’s legal
  2. You are the most interesting person at the party
  3. We get to ponder life + death every day
  4. We make a difference, every day

5. It makes us superheroes. And we get to say, “I did something useful with my life… I worked in the ER.”

Although I couldn’t attend #ACEP18 this year, I still feel like I got to hang out with my people, a group of professionals I count myself lucky to be a member of. Maybe next year I’ll get to experience it in person!

Dr. Irene Tien is a board-certified Emergency Medicine and Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician who still loves to help patients in the emergency department. She creating a space to connect with patients via her telemedicine service and blog My Doctor Friend.

Dr. Tien is a 2018–2019 Doximity Author.

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

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