Rochelle Rennie, OMS-IV

This year’s ACOEP Scientific Assembly was definitely one to be remembered! In order to accommodate the busy schedule of medical students, the student events took place during the weekend from November 4th to 6th in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado. Saturday started with our wilderness medicine themed Leadership Academy. Students learned about the important qualities of a leader and how to incorporate those qualities into the field of emergency medicine. While working in groups, students rotated through various wilderness scenarios and worked in teams to care for their simulated patients. The day continued with an introductory airway lecture by Dr. Greg Beirne. By sharing his passion for teaching medical students, this lecture was not only informative, but also engaging. After the lecture, came the Leading Edge Medical Associates (LEMA) sponsored airway lab where students were able to practice using different intubation equipment. Students had a chance to earn some bragging rights as well as prizes in our airway competition. The day concluded with the UA Acute Care Solutions (USACS) sponsored social event at Pizza Republic. Students enjoyed great food and company with other students, residents, attendings, and program directors while participating in trivia.   

The bulk of the student events took place on Sunday. We began with a question and answer session about all things related to the topic of applying to emergency medicine residencies, held by Leigh Hylkema, the Program Coordinator at Doctors Hospital. Next, Dr. Kristopher Hart, Program Director of Integris Southwest Medical Center, gave an exciting lecture about snakes and other creepy crawly creatures! Dr. Frank Biondolillo, Clinical Assistant Professor at LECOM Bradenton, then lectured on the important differential diagnoses for chest pain. This versatile lecture taught the first year medical students valuable tools to make a diagnosis while also being a great refresher for the more senior medical students. The following lecture by Dr. Elizabeth Gignac, Program Director at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, discussed the definition and physiology of high altitude sickness, and other altitude related illnesses which, being in the “Mile-High City,” was decidedly apropos. The final presenter of the day was Dr. Bradley Chappell, Medical Director of Harbor UCLA, who brought home the wilderness medicine theme nicely with his lecture on treating accidental hypothermia. The afternoon portion of our events was all about showcasing residency programs. In our second year of the Residency Program Speed Dating Lunch, this event turned out to be a favorite of both students and program directors alike. In true speed dating fashion, the program directors and program coordinators rotated from table to table, answering questions from students about their program while enjoying lunch. The student events concluded for the day with the Residency Program Expo, where students obtained more information about programs they were interested in and also conversed with residents from those programs. Our evening social took place at Punch Bowl Social and was a hit amongst attendings and students alike! Students played arcade games, corn hole, ping-pong, and bowling just to name a few, while again interacting with residents, attendings, and program directors. And, if you had any energy left after all that fun, the TEAM Health sponsored event at the Irish Rover was a nice way to wind down before heading back to the hotel.

The student portion of the conference ended Monday with the medical students and residents coming together for joint lectures, and you could say we saved the best for last! The morning started with ZDoggMD delivering the keynote address. Yes, ZDogg! He spoke to the students and residents about how he became a YouTube sensation and shared some of his favorite parodies. After his lecture, students and residents were able to ask ZDogg questions and take selfies with him. The morning wrapped up with Resident Student Organization meeting and elections for the incoming board. In the afternoon, Dr. Shelly Zimmerman presented her lecture on toxicology and gave important information about what we all will face as emergency medicine physicians. Last, but certainly not least, we ended with our keynote speaker Dr. K Kay Moody who talked about the importance of work life balance and wellness as students, residents, and future attendings.

Overall, the conference was a success and the turnout was more than we could have hoped for. From all of the great lecturers and all the fun had at the social events, this conference was a memorable experience. The Resident Student Organization looks forward to continuing to make ACOEP conferences a valuable resource for both residents and students. We hope that you can join us for 2018 Spring Seminar!

It has been my pleasure planning the student chapter conference events as your conference co-chair.