Symposium 2009

4th Biennial Emergency Medicine Interest Group Student Symposium a Resounding Success at UC Irvine

The 4th biennial UC Irvine School of Medicine Emergency Medicine Interest Group (EMIG) Student Symposium took place on Saturday February 7, 2009 at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange, CA. The focus of the symposium was Subspecialties within the field of Emergency Medicine (EM). The Symposium had a total of 170 guests, with 25% of the participants from out of the state and faculty members from six California University Medical Schools. Additionally, this was the first International EMIG Symposium with six students traveling from abroad to attend.

Jennifer McBride and Pedro Salcido, EMIG Chairs of Symposium, began by welcoming the guests and introducing the EMIG board members who dedicated their time and energy into planning the symposium. The board members include EMIG Co-Presidents Akiva Kahn and Deena Ibrahim, Vice President (VP) of Education Christina Umber, VP of Finance Jessica Schoen, VP of Operations Abid Mogannam, VP of Outreach Shannon Toohey, Senior Advisor Pamela Swan, and Faculty Advisor Dr. Shahram Lotfipour. Furthermore, Rod Mortazavi was the head photographer of the day and designer of the covers of the program. However, without the heroic efforts of dozens of other volunteers the symposium would have not been possible. In addition, Mr. Larry Gold, from UC Irvine Health Affairs, was warmly thanked for donating his highly valued resources to sponsor the publication of the extraordinary programs, which were well received by all.

Dr. Mark Langdorf, the Chair of the UC Irvine Emergency Department, opened the day with a lecture on “Fellowship Opportunities in Emergency Medicine” and the importance of subspecialties within EM. EMIG sincerely appreciates Dr. Langdorf’s invaluable support. The second speaker of the day was Dr. Jay Sharp from Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Sharp’s lecture, “High Altitude Medicine,” discussed the medical problems associated with the exposure to high altitude, the physiologic response to high altitude, and acute mountain sickness.

Dr. Tamara Thomas, from Loma Linda University, and Dr. Tareg Bey spoke about International Medicine. Dr. Thomas gave an overview of International EM including how to plan your trip, how to set realistic goals, what to expect on an international trip, and how to efficiently manage your time. Her lecture drew the crowd in with her vibrant pictures and personal stories of her own International EM adventures. Dr. Bey then spoke about “International Emergency Medicine Europe: Germany-Switzerland”. He gave an overview of EM in Europe and described how it differs from EM here in the United States. He described EM in Germany, a country that is smaller in size than California yet has almost three times the population, as well as EM in the much smaller country of Switzerland.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Stephen Hayden from UCSD, spoke about hyperbaric medicine and Diving Emergencies. His intriguing lecture included topics such as the pathophysiology of decompression sickness (DCS), the clinical presentation of DCS, the characteristics of arterial gas embolism, the mechanism of Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) therapy, and reviewed the indications for HBO therapy.

Throughout the symposium there were a total of four sessions of hands-on workshops. These workshops were diligently planned and organized by Christina Umber, VP of Education, with the help of student volunteer liaisons.

– Disaster Medicine directed by Dr. Kristi Koenig and presented by Dr. Koenig and Dr. Tareg Bey from UC Irvine, Dr. Ken Miller from the Orange County Fire Authority, and Dr. Samuel J. Stratton, from Orange County Emergency Medicine Services (EMS).
– EMS taught by Dr. Christopher Kahn from UC Irvine.
– Emergency Ultrasound taught by Dr. Chris Fox from UC Irvine. In addition, UC Irvine residents Dr. Michael Habicht and Dr. Montessa Tenny ran ultrasound stations within the workshop
– Medical Toxicology taught by Dr. Jeffrey Suchard from UC Irvine
– Research Presentations judged by Dr. Mark Langdorf, Dr. Shahram Lotfipour, and Dr. Micheal Menchine all from UC Irvine, as well as Dr. Binh Ly and Dr. Stephen Hayden from UC San Diego.
– Pediatric EM taught by Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill from Harbor-UCLA.
– Sports Medicine taught by Dr. Sam Haraldson, an EM physician and current team physician for the athletes at Texas Christian University.
– Wilderness Medicine taught by Dr. Jay Sharp from Stanford University

The day wound down with a panel of residency directors and residents, where the guests were able to ask the panel any question about EM, including the requirements of research as an EM resident applicant, the difference between 3 and 4 year residency programs, and specific questions about the different EM residency programs throughout California. The 2009 EMIG Symposium panel had the most residency directors in the history of EMIG symposiums. The panel included Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill from Habor-UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Binh Ly from UCSD, Dr. Jennifer Oman from UC Irvine, Dr. Dustin Smith from Loma Linda University, Dr. Stuart Swadron from USC, and resident and current President of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) Resident and Student Association Dr. Megan Boysen from UC Irvine.

Finally, Jennifer McBride and Pedro Salcido, Chairs of Symposium, concluded the day with a warm thank you to the sponsors of the symposium including UC Irvine Department of EM, UC Irvine Health Affairs, UC Irvine School of Medicine, AAEM, AAEM Resident and Student Association, California Chapter of AAEM, California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Orange County Medical Association, California Medical Association Foundation, Care Ambulance Service, Beckman Coulter, Kaplan, and all of the companies that donated numerous raffle items. In addition the EMIG board members, dozens of medical students and guest volunteers, speakers, workshop physicians and liaisons were also warmly thanked. Following the acknowledgements was a raffle that included gifts from several restaurants and coffee shops and grand prizes including an Apple iPod Shuffle, and full scholarships for Kaplan question banks and a Kaplan study course worth over $1,000.

The symposium was a resounding success. We are especially thankful for the hard work and dedication of Shannon Toohey, VP of Outreach, who was able to recruit students from as far away as Canada and Mexico to attend, making this EMIG’s first symposium with International attendance.

The 2009 EMIG Student Symposium would not have been possible without the unbelievable fundraising efforts by Jessica Schoen, VP of Finance. Jessica raised over $14,000 to support this event. She also worked hard to bring in exhibitors and collect the donated raffle items.

Finally, we are especially grateful for the continuous support and countless hours of dedication that our Faculty Advisor Dr. Shahram Lotfipour has given to EMIG. Without the support of the UC Irvine emergency department and Dr. Lotfipour, the symposium would not be possible. We are also grateful to Ms. Amal Khalil and the entire ED staff, our wonderful student volunteers, the incredible organizational efforts of Christina Umber, VP of Education, the flawless technical and AV management of Abid Mogannam, VP of Operations, the wonderful advice of Pamela Swan, Senior Advisor, and all of the physicians who donated their time, efforts, and energy to come and speak, lead our workshops, and talk with us about EM residency programs. Furthermore, we are grateful for the endless time and energy that the EMIG Co-Presidents, Akiva Kahn and Deena Ibrahim, put into the symposium. The symposium would not be possible without each of them.