(Yet more) reflections on SMACC Gold

27 Mar

Lots of other folk have put their reflections on SMACC Gold online and I’m here to join the crowd.

I missed the first SMACC as purse strings were a little tight. They’re a little tight this year too but I really wasn’t going to miss two SMACCs…

It was great to have an opportunity to come and speak though I’ll confess I was much more comfortable teaching neuroanatomy than being on the airway panel with Levitan, Weingart, John Hinds and Brent May. But it was all good really.

levitan 1

I was very impressed that they chose to devote a 2 hr main area session on end of life issues that incorporated a live integrated twitter discussion.

SonoWars in particular caught my eye as one of the most creative and slickly ran sessions on education I’ve ever seen. Those guys (ultrasoundpod and the sonocave guys) are the best in the business.

The highlight though, without doubt, was the people. This is why you come to SMACC, to meet and be inspired by people. You can throw this off as soft and fluffy and no relevance to medicine but this was the key thing.

smacc gold audience

Ireland has a small EM community and it’s a tough place to do EM. We have a very small number of trained EPs and our departments are crowded, understaffed and morale is frankly pretty low at times. It’s hardly surprising that so many of our trainees or EPs have moved to Oz or New Zealand.

As a result #FOAMed has been an inspiration and an revelation to me. To know the imaginative possibilities of EM out there is what gets me excited about the job. I get to discuss online with some fascinating, interesting and passionate clinicians from whom I can learn. SMACC gold gave me the chance to meet these people in person. And meeting people in person beats twitter hands down.

People who engage in #FOAMed tend to be a little bit off the spectrum in terms of our enthusiasm. We love the medicine, we love to talk about ┬ámedicine and we just can’t get enough of talking about medicine so much so that our spouses, our friends and even our medical colleagues get bored of us. SMACC is a conference for all these enthusiastic, excitable little puppies to get together and bond with all the other freaks and geeks.

All these people, the passion, the enthusiasm and the relationships are an inspiration to be a better doctor and a better team member.

So my thanks for SMACC gold are to the people. In particular the committee for being mad enough to invite me and Rob Rogers for being a great roomie – that man rocks!

Here’s some more reflections on SMACC gold so you can check out the love.

I Teach EM

Manu Et Corde


Injectable Orange



KI Docs

Doug Lynch (with a fascinating set of interview)

Damian Roland


Nomadic GP


[Let me know if I missed any]

And here’s the opening ceremony


We’ll be in Chicago next year in May 2015 and I for one plan on being there. Be sure and check out the SMACC podcast to catch up on all the talks.

[Images via Oli Flower]

13 Replies to “(Yet more) reflections on SMACC Gold

  1. Pingback: Social Media And Critical Care (SMACC) - R.E.B.E.L. EM

  2. Good to meet you Andy – impressed with your committment to teaching & training…and sharing an apartment with Rob Rogers must’ve been great – what a fantastic educator!

    Hope to entice you back ‘down under’ in the future – even if it’s 10 years away. Meanwhile kep up the GREAT work with your site … and let us know if the rumours of a collaborative neuroanatomy/EM/neurosurg podcast with Mark Wilson and Nat May via St Emlyns are fruitful…


    ruraldoctors.net / KIDocs.org

  3. Hi Andy,

    Great post. I particularly love “SMACC is a conference for all these enthusiastic, excitable little puppies to get together and bond with all the other freaks and geeks” … So true!!

    I did a blog review too, if you want to add it to the list:

    Truly the theme of awesome people and great friendships is the common thread that runs through all of our posts!

    Great work,

  4. Pingback: Pure Gold – the SMACC Experience | Nomadic GP

  5. Nice review. Can relate to your comment that FOAM folk are a “little bit off the spectrum in terms of our enthusiasm”. Good way of putting it..”excitable puppies” getting a smaccing! Looking forward to more of your excellent anatomy vodcasts, as I said in my drunken haze to you at the gala dinner…”you make anatomy relevant and interesting” and that is a true gift:)

    Regards Graeme

    • You too Scott, my biggest frustration was not having enough time to have beer with everyone!! too much educational goodness and too many people to hang out with. Thanks for the shout out in your talk too.

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