Jellybean 104 Emergency Medicine in Chile

Chile is special. The longest country in the world with the driest desert, the highest lakes, the highest volcano, a huge mountain range making it strangely isolated and then they have Patagonia.

The health system is highly developed. Emergency medicine has been growing for 25 years and there are conspicuous imported protagonists to thank. Three cheers for Billy Mallon.

If you only read one article to accompany this podcast let it be this one: 25 years of EM in Chile.

Jellybean 104 Emergency Medicine in Chile
Emergency Medicine in Chile

These days the home grown talent is taking up the reins and I was lucky to meet 4 of them at SMACC. Chile probably has the most high functioning health system in South and Central America. Based on a solid economy and a long history of professional advocacy the discipline of Emergency Medicine is now formally recognised by the Ministry of Health and by the rest of the world. Chile could become a power house of critical and emergency care in the Spanish speaking world. Do not underestimate these people.

Cesar, Loreto Acuña (@loretschile), Manuela Brinkmann  (@manu_brinkmann) and Josefina Larraín (@jolarrainstock) came to SMACC in Sydney where I was waiting to meet them. Have a listen to what this group have to say.

Challenges do, of course, remain. Chile has long since made the “epidemiological transition” to 1st world pathology. The delivery of care still varies depending on location. Santiago is very well served but the regional and rural areas less so. They have robust public health and vaccination programs, but there is a resurgence of some infectious diseases in part related to population movement. Their economy is strong and their government has been increasingly willing to take on the responsibilities that go with being a regional power. Their borders are long and they have had a huge increase in asylums seekers, refugees and other immigration in recent years. Not insignificant numbers of French Creole speakers have come from Haiti, perhaps related to the presence of Chilean peace keepers. Mass immigration is new. The challenges it brings are huge. Chile is not the first country to face this.

It’s a steep learning curve. But, let’s face it, we like steep learning curves!

Links are good;

  • The App Josefina Larraín spoke about is ReanimaApp ( @ReanimaApp )
  • The city with the large indigenous population is Temuco. The indigenous language spoken in the hospital is Mapudungun.

Chilean Spanish Language #FOAMed resources;


These are not small events; Chris Nickson, Cliff Reid, Amal Mattu and Vic Brazil have spoken there. They know a bit about this sort of thing.

Chile is amazing. But don’t take my word for it.

The Jellybean Podcast is a funny little thing. We advocate and collaborate. In the coming months there will be a load of new interviews. A very mixed bag of different subjects and different voices from different events and different backgrounds. We kind of need people to subscribe to be able to keep going.

Look out for a series co-hosted with feminem.org and two with www.nowem.org . We have a collection of rising international leaders in emergency medicine from the Pacific, Africa and South America. We are very proud to be sharing #SMACCreach interviews with badEM.co.za and www.afjem.com focused on the rapidly developing emergency medicine discipline in countries across Africa. There are a bunch of interviews with young nurses, doctors and paramedics just getting going in education. (#NewWaveFOAM). There are two great interviews from dontforgetthebubbles.com. (Don’t Forget to go to DFTB2019 in London!)
And there are a few surprises too.
Diversity. Variety. Inclusiveness. These podcasts are for the enquiring mind with eclectic interests. I have often said that I would like to interview pretty much everyone that listens to this podcast.
Talk to us, we will listen.

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Doug Lynch and a sprinkling of Matt Mac Partlin

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Dr Doug Lynch MA MBBS MPHTM. Critical Carer. Pathological Polymath. Medical Journeyman. Idealist. Feminist. Father. Friend. Melbourne | @TheTopEnd | JellyBeans | Enquiring Minds |

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