Symposium 2010

2010 Western Regional Emergency Medicine Student Symposium (WREMSS): A Resounding Success at UC Irvine

The 2nd Annual Western Regional Emergency Medicine Student Symposium (WREMSS), hosted by UC Irvine and USC, took place on Saturday October 23, 2010 at the beautiful UC Irvine Student Center. This year’s Symposium focused on the diverse patient population encountered by Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians, and included a number of hands-on workshops and short lectures. The event boasted over 200 attendees, including a number of out-of-state participants, and faculty members from ten medical schools throughout California.

Symposium began with a short address by Brett Rosen, Student Council President of AAEM/RSA. Brett discussed leadership and stewardship opportunities for those interested in EM, both as students and in the future as professionals. He was followed by Dr. Michael Menchine, Associate Professor of EM from USC, who delivered an energetic and entertaining talk about the prevalence of medical mistakes and how physicians can strive to decrease such problems in the future. UC Irvine EM physician Dr. Carl Schultz, a longtime supporter and participant of the student Symposium, closed the morning session with a discussion on Disaster Medicine. Specifically, he discussed the issue of whether standard of care should be modified during disasters to more appropriately address the unique medical challenges confronted by rescue workers. Dr. Schultz concluded that standard of care should be maintained to preserve life and limb to the best of the physicians’ abilities, regardless of circumstances.

Shortly thereafter, participants attended the first workshop of the day. Nine different workshops were offered, including:
– Residency Fair – ten California residency programs represented
– Question and Answer Session with Residency Directors
– Emergency Medicine Research Presentations
– Emergency Medicine Pediatrics taught by Dr. Tim Horeczko from UCLA-Harbor
– Psychiatry in Emergency Medicine taught by Dr. Gerald Maguire from UC Irvine
– Cardiovascular Ultrasound taught by Dr. J. Christian Fox from UC Irvine
– Medical Legal Lawsuits taught by Dr. Michael Bresler from Stanford/Kaiser
– Wilderness Medicine taught by Dr. Christian Sloane from UCSD
– Crash deliveries taught by Dr. Jenny Jaque, an OB/GYN attending from USC and Dr. Jorge Fernandez from USC
– Pediatric Arrests taught by Dr. Madhu Hardasmalani from USC

Symposium participants attended two workshops before breaking for lunch. Dr. Langdorf, Chair of the UC Irvine Emergency Department, and Dr. Maguire, UC Irvine Dean of Educational Affairs, began the lunch program by briefly welcoming participants and faculty and speaking about the virtues of pursuing a career in EM. Subsequently Dr. Bassil Aish began his keynote lecture with a short video clip from “Sport Science”, an ESPN and Fox Sports television program, of which he is the Chief Medical Advisor. The lecture, entitled “Sports-related Concussion: ED evaluation and beyond,” began with a background on sports related head injuries and the cumulative effect of concussion over an athlete’s lifetime. He then delved into the assessment and treatment of concussion. Discussion included the SCAT2 assessment tool, imaging modalities, as well as ongoing research looking into the relationship between serum tau protein levels and head injury severity. He emphasized that only licensed professionals trained in concussion should allow an athlete with concussive symptoms to return to play. His talk sparked numerous questions from faculty and students alike as lunch concluded.

Following lunch, participants attended two additional workshops. The variety of workshops gave students the opportunity to choose topics that most interested them. Whether it was learning how to intubate a child, aid in crash deliveries, or how EM physicians and psychiatrists manage acutely psychotic patients, all participants interacted directly with top California physician educators.

After completing the third and fourth workshops, students gathered for the final lectures of the day. Stanford/Kaiser EM physician Dr. Michael Bresler gave an inspiring speech about the role EM physicians play in health care reform including the enactment of EMTALA legislation. Dr. Bresler was followed by Dr. Kenny Banh and Dr. James Comes, both of UCSF-Fresno, who gave an entertaining talk on “How to Honor Your EM Rotation,” filled with lighthearted role play of stereotypical student and faculty interactions in the emergency department.

Lastly, UCI EMIG Vice Presidents of Symposium Mason Shieh and Erica Frumin and EMIG Co-President Lacey King, expressed thanks to the many Symposium supporters including UC Irvine Department of Emergency Medicine, UC Irvine School of Medicine, Dean of UCI SOM Ralph Clayman, USC Department of Emergency Medicine, American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM), Emergency Medicine Residents Association (EMRA) , American Academy of Emergency Medicine Resident and Student Association (AAEM RSA), Ethicon Inc., Kaplan Medical, and Orange County Medical Association (OCMA), as well as the companies that donated raffle items. Time was also taken to thank the UCI EMIG board members, dozens of medical student and guest volunteers, speakers 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.

The symposium was a resounding success. We are especially thankful for the hard work and dedication of the EMIG Board Members. The 2010 WREMSS would not have been possible without the unbelievable fundraising efforts by Joann Chang, VP of Finance, who raised over $10,000 to support the event. Through his relentless promotion, Richard Kwong, VP of Outreach, was able to recruit students from throughout the country. We are also very grateful to Matthew Whealon, VP of Operations, for his flawless management of technical aspects of symposium including our website, registration, and the audio visual needs of the event. Shadi Lahham, VP of Education, coordinated faculty and student volunteers, overseeing the hands-on portions of Symposium. We would also like to express our gratitude for the wonderful advice provided by Nick Sawyer and Shannon Toohey, EMIG Senior Advisors and former Co-Presidents. Special thanks also goes out to medical student volunteers Kiah Bertoglio, Chris Yeh and Ekatarina Tzvetkova whose help was invaluable both before and during Symposium.

Finally, we are especially grateful for the continuous support and countless hours of dedication that our Faculty Advisor Dr. Shahram Lotfipour has provided 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 for their continued support. In addition, Mr. Larry Gold and Ms. Elena Castellon, from UC Irvine Health Affairs, graciously donated their highly valued resources to sponsor the publication of the printed programs.

EMIG board members include EMIG Vice Presidents (VP) of Symposium Mason Shieh and Erica Frumin, EMIG Co-Presidents Lacey King and Kathleen Laning, VP of Education Shadi Lahham, VP of Finance Joann Chang, VP of Operations Matthew Whealon, VP of Outreach Richard Kwong, Senior Advisors Nick Sawyer and Shannon Toohey, and Faculty Advisor Dr. Shahram Lotfipour.

Erica Frumin & Mason Shieh, VPs of Symposium
Lacey King, EMIG Co-President