Advancing emergency medicine internationally

A group of international doctors from developing countries has spoken about the inspiration they gained following a visit to Australia.

The group were awarded the International Scholarship from the ACEM Foundation and attended and presented at #ACEM17 in Sydney.

The scholarship aims to increase awareness and support for emergency medicine in developing countries. By nomination of a FACEM or trainee, the scholarship is designed to help increase recipients’ skills and understanding of emergency medicine systems and standards throughout Australia and New Zealand.

The scholarship may include visiting emergency departments within Australia and New Zealand to help increase the scholarship recipients’ skills and understanding of emergency medicine systems and standards throughout Australasia.

The 2017 recipients were:

  • Dr Aung Myo Naing (Myanmar)
  • Professor Maw Maw Oo (Myanmar)
  • Dr Chamida Aruna Suraweera (Sri Lanka)
  • Dr Patrick Toito’ona (Solomon Islands)
  • Dr Sonai Chaudhuri (Nepal)

Immediate Past President Professor Tony Lawler, Dr Patrick Toito’ona, Professor Maw Maw Oo, Dr Sonai Chaudhuri, Dr Suraweera and Dr Naing

Dr Toito’ona said learning about emergency department layout and design and the country’s triage system, and meeting “the hard working” doctors and nurses was “very inspiring indeed”.

“Just to come to Sydney and meet wonderful people, and most importantly being able to see what emergency medicine was like in Australia, the experience was unforgettable,” Dr Toito’ona said.

Dr Toito’ona said he hoped as a result of the trip and contacts he made, “we can be more heavily involved in research collaborations, which in turn will help boost emergency medicine in the Solomon Islands”.

Read Dr Toito’ona’s report on his trip.

Dr Suraweera said the trip was a “once in lifetime opportunity”. “It was a great and broad experience to participate and present at this [the ASM] event, as the first Sri Lankan recipient of this International Scholarship of ACEM Foundation,” Dr Suraweera said.

Read Dr Suraweera’s report on his trip.

Professor Maw Maw Oo said the visit to Sydney’s hospitals allowed him to observe patient care “in real time”. “We have FACEMs who work in Myanmar and tell us stories, but this trip was an opportunity to see it first hand and learn about staffing models and patient care pathways,” he said.

Dr Naing described the ASM in Sydney as “fantastic”. “We now have many new relationships with doctors from other developing countries,” he said.

FACEMs Dr Georgina Phillips and Dr Gerard O’Reilly said: “It was a privilege to host these wonderful and talented doctors, and we look forward to receiving nominations for this year’s ASM in Perth.”

2018 International Scholarship

Nominations for this year’s scholarship, which supports the attendance and presentation of doctors and other health professionals from developing countries at the ACEM ASM, are open and will close on 29 April.

Further details, including eligibility, and selection criteria and process, are on the ACEM website.