Article Image

Research Forum at ACEP18: Opioids, Firearm Safety, Medicaid Expansion, and Specialty Crossover Impact EM

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
Image: deepadesigns/Shutterstock

Many physicians can recall exactly where they were when they first learned something that changed the way they practice medicine. For a select group, that moment takes place during the Research Forum at ACEP18-Scientific Assembly, the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) at the San Diego Convention Center from October 1–3, 2018.

Leading researchers in Emergency Medicine (EM) presented nearly 400 studies on topics ranging from Pediatrics to Geriatrics, opioids, mental illness, diagnostic imaging, toxicology, and more.

Abstracts of the presentations are featured in a special supplement to Annals of Emergency Medicine. The Research Forum also featured special presentations each day that are accredited for CME. The Research Forum offers something for everyone, no matter the level of experience.

For those newer to scientific research and academia, for instance, the Research Forum offers a chance to meet the leaders in the field. This year, the writer’s workshop gave everyone an opportunity to hone their skills and better understand what top scientific journals are seeking from a stylistic and content perspective.

In the “State-of-the-Art” presentation series, attendees heard directly from some of EM’s most impactful voices. Social media juggernauts like Esther Choo, MD, Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, FACEP, and Seth Trueger MD, MPH FACEP discussed how to talk about science in the age of “fake news.”

Judd Hollander, MD, FACEP peered into his crystal ball to discuss the future of telemedicine. And, attendees heard firsthand how EM intersects, overlaps, and informs many other specialties from Richard Gordon, MD, FACEP.

Emergency departments are on the frontlines of many of the nation’s most pressing and vexing health challenges. For example, the role of the emergency physician in treating and preventing opioid use disorder was highlighted in a guest lecture by leaders from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Other highlights at the Research Forum included research about blunt abdominal trauma in children, patient safety curricula, and trends in mental health visits. There were also presentations about the predictors of suicide and care transition strategies. It also showcased data detailing some of the most common symptoms that bring patients to the emergency department, such as chest pain, and how symptoms may differ by gender.

Hot-button issues like firearm safety were discussed during Monday’s plenary session. Topics such as the effect of Medicaid expansion on emergency department use were covered.

In Pediatrics, a thorough analysis concluded that popsicles do in fact influence patient satisfaction. And, a look at the role of four-legged EM colleagues revealed whether therapy dogs pose risk to patients in the emergency department.

The event also featured a look at some of the overarching trends in ED visits relating to mental health or geriatric emergency trends—an important conversation as more emergency departments gain ACEP accreditation for geriatric services.

Psychiatric patient boarding and opioid prescribing patterns were analyzed. Attendees could also review key findings from research relating to the homeless patient population.

The Wednesday plenary session featured a look at the dangerous Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield policy to retroactively deny emergency care coverage. The policy that has legislators, medical societies and patients very and concerned about safety.

ACEP is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. EM has come a very long way in a short time. Comforting patients through some of their most frightening moments, emergency physicians are there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The 2018 Research Forum showcased new ways of thinking and research that could change EM. This event remains an invaluable opportunity to network and learn from some of the brightest minds in the specialty. More information is available at

Dr. Joseph Piktel is an Emergency Medicine physician and an instructor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

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

More from Op-Med