Letter From America #5

Well that’s it, just like that the conference has come to end.

The last few days have been a wild ride through the essentials of emergency medicine. Mel Herbert and his team have put on one hell of a show, and San Francisco played host superbly.

I got the chance to hang out with Leon Gussow and some of the crew from Royal North Shore and Tamworth hospitals – including Charlies old boy Noel Eatough…he’s the one with the enormous head.


Afterward I was back amongst my own kind with the indestructible and unstoppable Perth posse:


I was intending to summarize the events of the last day of essentials however unforeseen circumstances meant that this is not possible. I was afflicted by a devastating but self-resolving malaise of uncertain etiology and elected to steer clear of the conference’s final day.  My brain was full to the brim anyway. Apologies for the anticlimax…

Fortunately Mel is going to have the entire conference available to download over the coming months. I think he may be a telepath.

After catching up on some sleep I joined the other sandgropers at Candlestick Park to watch the San Francisco 49ers clash with the St. Louis Rams. There is no one in the world who loves their job less than the cantankerous taxi driver to whom we entrusted our lives. He did, however, have a marvelous and unerring ability to bypass traffic jams and squeeze his taxi through the slightest of openings (perhaps closings is a better term).

The stadium was surrounded by hordes of howling 49ers fans, most of them more than half cut despite it being barely midday, with their barbecues blazing and beer bellies being filled. It seems that the club itself actually encourages this behavior:


The game itself is nearly incidental to the overall event. The players vie for the crowds attention against the constant distractions of exploding fireworks, nubile cheerleaders, highlights of other games on the big screen and relentless advertising. Needless to say we had a great day as the circus atmosphere successfully countered the potent somnolescent effects of American football. We really felt like we were in America…

Only half regretfully did I farewell my fellow Perthites who moved on to the green pastures of Las Vegas. I have been informed that they have each set their alarms for Wednesday — I’m not sure if that’s to remind them to wake up or go to sleep. Hopefully the fear and loathing will be kept to minimum.

As I prepare to fly towards the southern cross I’d like to thank Mel again for making this all possible. I must also thank the many friends, old and new, that made this an adventure not to be missed.

Til next time…

Further Reading

Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.

After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.

He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE.  He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.

His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.

On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.

| INTENSIVE | RAGE | Resuscitology | SMACC

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