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IAEM reflects on a very successful virtual Annual Scientific Meeting

Saturday 10th October 2020 saw the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine hosting its Annual Scientific Meeting virtually. This one-day truncated version of the normal two-day programme was hosted on-line and attracted a large number of registrants from both within the specialty of Emergency Medicine and from other colleagues involved in emergency care. While the programme did not attempt to replicate the normal ASM model of having multiple simultaneous tracks, the event did manage to have a range of national and international speakers as well as the opportunity for colleagues to present research in both oral presentation and poster forms.

The meeting was opened by the Minister for Health, Mr Stephen Donnelly TD, who was followed by the outgoing President of the Association, Dr. Emily O’Conor, who gave a wide-ranging presentation on IAEM’s achievements over the past year as well as providing a foretaste of the IAEM Strategy 2020-2025 which will be published in the coming weeks. Dr Sally McCarthy, former President of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine and currently President of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine, gave delegates a wide-ranging overview of Emergency Medicine matters from a worldwide and IFEM perspective. She was followed by Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director WHO Health Emergencies Programme, whose face and voice is so familiar to Irish audiences because of his role in speaking on the COVID 19 Pandemic on behalf of WHO. He gave a genuinely inspiring talk which included a detailed overview of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and the progress of global measures to mitigate it. Dr Jason Van Der Velde of Cork University Hospital and West Cork Rapid Response gave a very personal account of the impact of his resuscitation and retrieval service in such a rural area many miles from a supporting hospital.

The subsequent Annual General Meeting of the Association saw Dr Emily O’Conor demit office as President after two very successful terms. She has been replaced by Mr Fergal Hickey from Sligo University Hospital who is returning to the role nine years after he last held it. Dr John Cronin from St Vincent’s University Hospital joins the IAEM Executive.

Next year’s ASM is tentatively fixed for the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co. Cavan and will take place from 13th – 15th October although the Association recognises that, as a result of COVID-19, it may be necessary to hold the meeting virtually.

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