President's Message

President's Message

January 2011
Sean Keenan, MD FAAEM

Greetings for another great year of military emergency medicine! As we look at 2011, we will be entering our tenth year supporting what is now called "Overseas Contingency Operations," formerly called the Global War on Terror. We serve both overseas and on the home-front. Recent graduates of residency programs and many of us "old guys" are serving with operational units, while others cover academic centers and community hospitals. Regardless of where you serve our nation, you are serving the finest population of patients in the world – those who have chosen to defend our country's freedom, despite a decade of conflict. Reflect on that, especially during a long night shift, or another holiday away from family. I am currently overseas in the Philippines serving as the Joint Special Operations Task Force Surgeon – a unique experience with some of the finest soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines the military has to offer.

USAAEM continues to work for you with many initiatives and objectives. Perhaps foremost, we are currently planning for another exciting and educational preconference course prior to this year's Scientific Assembly in Orlando on Sunday, February 27, 2011. Our course, organized by Dr. James Martin, will concentrate on bringing battlefield techniques to this educational venue with a focus on simulation and hands-on instruction. Expanding on the momentum of last year's course, we are partnering with an academic simulation center to provide unique, practical training in current battlefield techniques. This will be a fantastic opportunity, especially for military students and residents, as well as physicians interested in the current teachings of pre-hospital and emergency care, to get hands-on "tools of the trade" training for military EM.

In addition to our preconference course, we will again hold a social event which, if past years are any indicator, will be a great time to meet colleagues from all services and enjoy great food and beverages during the conference. This opportunity for fellowship has been one of the highlights of the past few Scientific Assemblies. Also, I'll put in an endorsement that this national conference is geared specifically for the practicing EP, and lives up to its reputation of world-class lecturers teaching lessons that can immediately be put into practice on your next shift – overall, an enjoyable, entertaining and practical CME activity.

Lastly, I will take the opportunity to relate to you other initiatives in which your chapter has been engaged. Last year, we formed a partnership with CAL/AAEM to bring you, at no extra membership charge, a subscription to the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine (WestJEM), a peer-reviewed journal delivered on a quarterly basis. We are also currently seeking to renew partnerships with CME sites for discounts for deployed members. Additionally, we are engaging the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences to propose the creation of a separate Department of Emergency Medicine. Currently the military's medical school has a Department of Military and Emergency Medicine. Unfortunately, it has been observed that emergency medicine has been somewhat deemphasized, and the department has been chaired by a non-EM-trained physician for its entire existence, except for a brief time when an EP was an "interim" chair. We feel strongly that emergency medicine needs true specialty recognition in the creation of its own department, in light of the contributions of its members – past, current and future – to military medicine.

We thank you for your continued support of USAAEM, YOUR state chapter. I personally feel our objectives are: education, representation of military EM to the national organization and fellowship among the military and federal services: active duty, Reserves, National Guard and retired alike. Military EM has a unique place in emergency medicine and operational medicine as a whole. Thank you for your continued service to the best and most deserving patients in the world!

Sean Keenan, MD FAAEM
LTC, MC, US Army

Last updated: May 17, 2012