I had a wonderful experience during this fellowship in geriatric emergency medicine. One thing that was striking the most is the human experience. You would not believe how much this community is kind, welcoming, and has this sense of sharing. Let me tell you a few stories to prove my point.
First, it is a very small, innovative world. Not many ED physicians are really involved in geriatric emergency medicine. We see each other all the time, we share our research ideas, we collaborate in education, and we want every hospital to adopt our policies because the one thing we care about is not to be the first, the best or the most popular ED or hospital, we only want the best patient care possible for older adults. In other words, the motivation is pure, human and sensitive.
Second, although not a lot of publications and article are showing our efforts, we do share our protocols, our ideas and we make sure that every relevant conference will hear about us. When I went to NYC to visit three different EDs, everyone booked time for meeting with me and was so proud of having the possibility to show their geriatric components in their ED. Also, I went away with pictures, protocols, ideas and many more important and interesting people to help me with my own future challenge. In summary, I could steal whatever I wanted and it was encouraged!
Here is an amazing story that happened to me last month and it is a great reflection of this community universe. My research project was accepted at the SAEM conference as a podium presentation in Orlando on May 18th. The same project was also accepted as a poster presentation at the presidential section at the AGS conference in San Antonio during the very same day. My program director Don Melady offered to present the poster but unfortunately missed his plane on the morning of May 18th. The administration could not reschedule the poster presentation. Mike Malone, a famous and extraordinary geriatrician offered to take the time to print the poster and present it with Adam Perry, a double agent (a certified geriatrician and ED physician). They had no idea what the project was!! We obviously took the time to explain the project but overall, they spent their whole afternoon for my poster!! Isn’t it amazing? They did not have to do that, but they thought it was important that our efforts were shared with the others and they took over that duty as it was OUR work, OUR geriatric care efforts, OUR people, OUR community, and therefore, yours as well.
In summary, networking is extremely important and once again, this proves that great geriatric care is the result of a TEAM effort. The very best team! Thank you all for your time, your wisdom, your generosity and your company! (We have fun, trust me!)