Holy smokes BatDoc! Ken Milne to speak, entertain at #acem18

By day he is the Chief of Staff at South Huron Hospital Association in Exeter, Ontario, Canada. By night he turns into BatDoc, starring in light-hearted videos promoting medical conferences, thought leaders, ideas and events advancing emergency medicine.

Welcome to the world of Dr Ken Milne.

Dr Milne, who has been doing research for over 30 years publishing on a variety of topics, is one of the keynote speakers for the 35th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Perth later this year.

“Medicine and science – I love them – but you have got to have fun too, you have got to enjoy it, and the videos are part of that fun,” Dr Milne says of his popular YouTube videos.

Dr Milne is also active on social media, including twitter, and is the founder of The Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency Medicine project. This social media initiative uses a weekly blog and podcast to disseminate high-quality, clinically-relevant, evidenced-based and patient-centred emergency medicine information around the world for free.

Registrations are now open

Early Bird Registration is now open for the ASM, themed ‘On the Edge’. Join us 18-22 November in Perth where we explore the multiple different facets of life in emergency medicine.

Check out the program and further details on the ASM website.

Looking after emergency physicians’ wellbeing

Dr Milne is currently completing a research project on mindfulness and using this technique to prevent burnout among emergency physicians, and hopes to present this at the ASM.

“I want to talk about, as an emergency physician, we are on the edge of life and death, but we are also on the edge of being healthy and well. Our work can take a personal toll, so we need to look after ourselves so we can always be on the top of our game when it comes to looking after our patients,” he says.

Dr Milne is also passionate about scepticism and critical thinking. “We shouldn’t being doing stuff unless we’ve darn good reason to believe that it works,” he says. “And so the burden of proof is on those making the claims. So that’s where the healthy scepticism comes from.

“But I am always trying to stay away from the edge of being a cynic or being nihilistic. I will be on the edge of skepticism and the border of nihilism.”

Dr Milne will also stress that everyone can make a difference. “From a statistical point of view – because I am a nerd – in the emergency department we are one of the few specialties that can have a Number Needed to Treat (NNT) of one. So we can help every single person we come into contact with because we are on the edge of the healthcare system.”

Worldwide system issues

Dr Milne notes emergency physicians in Canada confront the same issues in Australia, namely a workforce battling increased demand, access block and overcrowding, coupled with fewer resources and funding.

“As Chief of Staff I am constantly looking at changes that we can do to improve the system because what we do matters,” he says. “Making sure people get the care they need in a timely fashion is really, really important.”