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Introduction

This chapter gives a concise overview of the important organizations and associations that are involved in global EM. In each case, links to the websites to facilitate one’s personal search are provided. This chapter organizes the associations and organizations according to the following:

  • United States national EM groups with subsections dedicated to international medicine
  • International emergency medicine societies or organizations

National Emergency Medicine Groups with International Sections

American College of Emergency Physicians (International EM Section)

ACEP is the largest EM specialty society in the United States, with over 32,000 members. ACEP publishes the Annals of Emergency Medicine, which covers topics of international interest in emergency medicine. The ACEP Section on IEM serves as a resource to other countries in their development of EM and promotes international interchange, understanding, and cooperation among physicians in the field.

Opportunities: Provides a website to search for rotations abroad as residents or students. ACEP also provides links to the websites of medical centers that offer observerships to foreign medical trainees.

Resources: ACEP has assembled a comprehensive group of “Ambassadors” who serve as point persons for physicians interested in particular countries. The Ambassadors must have close ties to the country of interest and create reports about EM in each country on a regular basis. These reports are stored on the section website.

Conferences: At the ACEP annual meeting each fall, the international section has meetings and events specifically for IEM. The ambassador conference also takes place at this time and is a great way to meet
practitioners from around the world. ACEP International Section also maintains an up-to-date list of EM conferences offered around the globe.

Membership Criteria: Membership to the IEM Section requires ACEP membership. Medical students and residents become members of ACEP when they join EMRA (see below).

Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), International Division

EMRA’s International Division is a robust, introductory, and highly relevant resource for any medical student or resident who is interested in getting involved in IEM. EMRA’s International Division has a three-fold goal. The first goal is to act as a resource for all EMRA members for finding rotations abroad and as resource of information about IEM fellowships. The second goal is to be a resource and liaison for international medical students and residents who are interested in EM as a specialty. The final goal is to connect members with up-to-date IEM research opportunities and literature.

Opportunities: EMRA provides a list of links to several organizations. The list is not exhaustive, but can provide ideas and links to helpful resources.

Resources: In addition to providing a central place to link you to many other organizations, EMRA has also worked with GEMA (see below) to build a mentorship program for residents interested in fellowship or research in IEM. EMRA also has several resources for international travel, as well as articles for those who are exploring their interests in IEM. A key resource that should be considered mandatory reading is EMRA’s International Emergency Medicine guidebook available for a nominal fee or to download as an e-book from the EMRA International Division website for free.

Conferences: The Division meets in person twice a year, at ACEP and CORD’s conferences, and also works by phone conference.

Membership Criteria: Any resident, medical student, or fellow in an emergency medicine residency program or in a related specialty associated with these residencies. International medical students, residents, and fellows interested in EM can also join. Membership to EMRA also includes membership to ACEP. Currently, the cost for residents and fellows is $105/year and for students is $55/year.

American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM)

AAEM is a specialty society that emphasizes the value of board certification in EM, and also focuses on education. The official journal of AAEM is the Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEM). AAEM has an International Committee to which members must be appointed. AAEM also has an active Resident/Student Association (AAEM/RSA) which also has an International Committee.

Opportunities: Students and residents may join the AAEM/RSA International Committee.

Resources: The International Committee website lists a number of resources including lectures, upcoming conferences, IEM articles, projects, and biographies of some of the leaders in IEM.

Conferences: AAEM’s strength in the international arena is creation of educational conferences, and has co-sponsored several iterations of the Mediterranean Emergency Medicine Congress (in the Mediterranean basin), the Pan-Pacific EM Congress (in Asia) and the Inter-American EM Congress (in South America).

Membership Criteria: Residents may join for an annual fee of $60 and medical student membership is free.

Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM)

SAEM is the major academic EM organization, representing faculty, fellows, residents and students. SAEM has both small interest groups as well as larger sub-organizations called academies. The IEM academy is called the Global Emergency Medicine Academy (GEMA). SAEM promotes quality care in EM through a focus on education and research. SAEM’s journal is Academic Emergency Medicine (AEM). GEMA seeks to improve the global delivery of emergency care through research, education, and mentorship. GEMA also works to enhance SAEM's role as the key international organization that augments, supports, and shares advances in global research, education, and mentorship in the field of EM.

The GEMA website serves as a central location of communication for those interested in IEM. The open-access website (www.globalem.net) contains information about conferences, grants and other news pertaining to IEM. The GEMA newsletter is also published on this site. There is also a dedicated MentorSite where residents and students can search for mentors in their geographic area of interest.

The SAEM website is www.saem.org. GEMA’s site on the SAEM page is limited to members only, and contains a repository of information pertaining to IEM.

Opportunities: GEMA communicates via its website and newsletter regarding new funding opportunities, projects looking for volunteers, and educational conferences. 

Conferences: At the SAEM annual conference, there are usually several activities pertaining to IEM that are appropriate for students and residents to attend, including research presentations, didactic sessions and the GEMA business meeting. 

Resources: GEMA facilitates mentorship and provides a place for residents and students to get involved in a vibrant IEM community. 

Membership Criteria: Any resident or student interested in emergency medicine can join SAEM and pay yearly dues for this membership. Resident membership is $170/year and medical student membership is $100/year. Academy memberships cost an additional $25 for both students and residents. 

International Emergency Medicine Societies and Organizations 

International Federation of Emergency Medicine (IFEM) 

IFEM is an international consortium of national EM organizations. Its goal is “to promote at an international level interchange, understanding and cooperation among physicians practicing emergency medicine.” It has a particular interest in developing EM internationally and to this end has published curricula and sponsors the International Conference of Emergency Medicine. IFEM is an “organization of organizations.” In the United States, ACEP is the primary, voting organization representing EM in the U.S. Additionally, SAEM, AAEM and EMRA are affiliate members. 

Opportunities: There is a myriad of opportunities to get involved that can be found through IFEM’s website. They include job postings and links to the IEM Fellowship website. Also, although only organizations can be members, IFEM has several committees that welcome individual participants, especially trainees.

Resources: IFEM’s website offers links to several educational resources, other EM organizations, clinical reference resources, research information, and links to publications.

Conferences: IFEM hosts the International Conference of Emergency Medicine. This conference is held in various places around the world. IFEM also hosts topic-based symposia.
Membership Criteria: IFEM welcomes national EM organizations as members and does not have individual memberships. IFEM confers honorary fellowship (FIFEM) on particularly noteworthy leaders in EM.

International Emergency Medicine Fellowship Consortium (IEFMC)

This is a consortium formed by the majority of U.S. IEM Fellowships. The IEMFC is an independent organization, but administrative support is provided by SAEM. The website lists information about a majority of IEM fellowships. Most U.S. fellowships now accept applications only through this site.

Opportunities: Active IEM Fellowships are advertised on this website.

Resources: The website maintains a list of active fellowship programs and pertinent information including application process, key dates, active projects, and a fellowship map.

Conferences: None

Membership: None. Applicants must register for full access to the site, but applying to programs is free.

Global EM Literature Review (GEMLR)

GEMLR has been around for over 10 years, and highlights and disseminates high-quality IEM research in the fields of EM development, disaster and humanitarian response, and emergency care in resource-limited settings. An annual review of literature is published in Academic Emergency Medicine and also is typically highlighted at the SAEM Annual Meeting.

Opportunities: Residents may help review articles and contribute to the process. Contact gemlrgroup@gmail.com to become involved.

Resources: A list of top EM articles per year in the fields described above.

Conferences: None

Membership Criteria: Membership is by application to the GEMLR and applicants generally have some prior international and publication
experience. Foreign language skills are desirable, and trainees are welcomed to participate.

World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM)

The World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine is a multidisciplinary professional association whose mission is the global improvement of pre-hospital and emergency health care, public health, and disaster medicine and preparedness. WADEM typically focuses more on disaster relief and less on emergency department care than its sister organizations.

Opportunities: WADEM focuses on research and sponsors the World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine every other year. 

Resources: Includes an online research repository, RSS feeds and Twitter updates, links to global health organizations, and news about upcoming events. 

Conferences: World Conference on Disaster and Emergency Medicine 

Membership Criteria: Open to health professionals from any country with an interest, background, or expertise in disaster and emergency health. Membership provides access to journals and discounts at conferences. Membership fees are determined by annual income. 

Emergency Physicians International (EPi) 

EPi is a magazine and online network dedicated to emergency medicine development throughout the globe. 

Opportunities: EPi uses its social network and publication to provide educational materials, to disseminate news related to IEM, and to facilitate communication among individual emergency physicians throughout the globe via forums, blogs, and twitter. The publication welcomes submissions from physicians around the globe. 

Resources: The EPi website contains a vigorous discussion about EM practiced around the world, and includes a list of events, blogs and articles from the magazine. 

Conferences: none 

Membership Criteria: N/A 

African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM) 

AFEM was founded in 2009 as a coalition of national societies, organizations, and individuals from over 40 countries in Africa. AFEM seeks to promote EM in Africa by providing data to inform policy-making; offering emergency care training curricula and workshops, and publishing the African Journal of Emergency Medicine (AfJEM). 

Opportunities: AFEM provides opportunities in research, curricula development, journal publication, and offers individuals and organizations the opportunity to sponsor delegates from various African countries to attend the AFEM conferences.

Resources: the AFEM website provides open-access information to an interdisciplinary audience aimed at educating providers in the specialty of emergency medicine. In particular, the AFEM Handbook of Acute and Emergency Care is a comprehensive textbook guiding care of patients in resource-limited settings http://www.afem.info/resources/afem-handbook/?id=48

Conferences: AFEM sponsors a conference (AfCEM) regularly for providers in Africa.

Membership Criteria: Like IFEM, membership is primarily for national emergency medicine organizations and not individuals. However, individuals are welcome to participate on task forces and other initiatives.

European Society for Emergency Medicine (EuSEM)

EuSEM is an organization that aims to promote and foster the concept, philosophy and art of EM throughout Europe, encourages research through the publication of the European Journal of Emergency Medicine (EuJEM), and has a particular interest in contributing to international collaboration in the field of EM.

Opportunities: Job positions, research projects, international surveys, and conferences are posted on the different sections of EuSEM’s website. Submissions to EuJEM are also accepted.

Resources: Provides policies, EM curricula, and through membership, communication with other European EM groups.

Conferences: EuSEM holds an annual European Congress on Emergency Medicine, bringing together emergency physicians from across Europe and beyond.

Membership Criteria: Accepts individuals who are members of other European EM groups. International associate membership is available if you are not a resident of Europe

Other Letters in the Soup

The chapter is by no means comprehensive! There are organizations in India, Asia, Australia, South America and elsewhere – nearly every country has its own initiatives and organizations that are of fundamental importance. However, we hope this introduction to the “Alphabet Soup” of Global EM will spark your interest in the exciting initiatives as well as networking and meaningful projects that arise from organized medicine and urge everyone to seek out the opportunities that these groups provide.