Plenary Speakers

The Trail: Our Role in the Healthcare System
Speaker: Mr. André Picard

Emergency medicine is a complex enigma: it is the intersection between acute and community care; it is the safety net for health care system inefficiencies; and it is the canary in the coalmine for emerging issues like the opioid crisis, Ebola and SARS. Emergency medicine has a unique role and responsibility within the health care system as well as in society to bring awareness to important health issues, help overcome identified challenges and to advocate for improvements in patient and population health.

When patients can’t get a timely appointment, test or prescription they head for the ED. When they want a second opinion patients come to the ED. Consultants, too, see the ED as a solution to their problems: often our beds are occupied with admitted patients impairing our ability to do our work. Consultants, patients and we accept this – the controlled chaos, the congestion, the long wait times, and the loss of privacy and dignity. This is the norm.

Mr. Picard will challenge us to think carefully about our health care system and our role and responsibilities in it. How does emergency medicine best improve patient care? Where is the health care system heading? What should we in emergency medicine do to improve patient care, specifically in the ED but also in the healthcare system in general?

Globe and Mail business journalist Andre Picard poses in the Montreal offices on September 6, 2012. For Promotions (Christinne Muschi for The Globe and Mail)Mr. André Picard is the health columnist at The Globe and Mail and the author of four books, most recently The Path to Health Care Reform: Policies and Politics.

He has received much acclaim for his writing, including the Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism and the Centennial Prize of the Pan-American Health Association, awarded to the top health journalist in the Americas. He is also an eight-time finalist for the National Newspaper Awards – Canada’s version of the Pulitzer Prize.

André is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and has received honourary doctorates from the University of Manitoba and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Elevating Your Game: The Ten Top Clinical Pearls That Will Make a Difference
Speaker: Dr. Stuart Swadron

We do amazing work in a difficult environment: one where time-dependent decisions are required, many times with little information, where the number of patients can be overwhelming, where conflicts can arise. We are expected to be on our game with the latest clinical information, to use this knowledge correctly while also overseeing an unpredictable if not, at times, frenzied department.

Building from the Choosing Wisely campaign, Dr. Swadron will reflect on those key pearls – both clinical and non-clinical – that have made a difference for both himself and his patients. What does he know now that he wishes he knew when starting his career? What does he believe will be useful for you? What strategies have helped him manage a difficult patient or consultant, make a difference in the life of a patient, deal with medical uncertainty and cope with a busy shift? This will be an evidence and an eminence based presentation that will offer us practical wisdom to help reach the peak of excellence as clinicians.


Dr. Stuart Swadron is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine and Medical Education at the Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles and an attending emergency physician at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. He has served as Program Director of the Emergency Medicine residency program at the University of Southern California as well as an Assistant Dean at the Keck School of Medicine.

The Best of Canadian EM Research – The Top 4 Abstracts

Ian Stiell

Grant Innes Research Paper and Presentation Award Winner

1st plenary presentation

PL01 – Creation of the Canadian Heart Failure Risk Scale for Acute Heart Failure Patients
Audrey-Anne Brousseau

2nd plenary presentation

PL02 –Derivation and Validation of a feasible Emergency Department specific Frailty Index to predict adverse outcomes
Christian Vaillancourt

3rd plenary presentation

PL03 – Implementation of the Canadian C-Spine Rule by Paramedics: A Safety Evaluation
Shannon Fernando

Top Resident Research Abstract Award Winner

4th plenary presentation

PL04 – Initial Serum Lactate Predicts Deterioration in Emergency Department Patients with Sepsis

On the Edge: Managing Risk
Speaker: Mr. Will Gadd

The worlds of adventure extremists and emergency physicians are far apart. Or so it seems. Not so fast. We both face and manage uncertainty, risk and adversity in our work. There are elements that we can control and others that we can only react to. Failure can have catastrophic consequences. There are both physical and psychological hurdles that we must overcome each and every time we work. There is a buildup and a recovery phase to our efforts. Our environments can be both harsh and beautiful and how we interact in our environment can affect how well we do.

Perhaps we are not so different after all. What can we learn from someone who excels in the high stakes world of extreme mountaineering? How does Mr. Gadd view risk? How does he prepare for and manage risk, both predictable and unpredictable? Does that change when others are involved? How has he overcome his self-doubts and fears and excelled in his vocation? How does he recover from failure and appreciate his successes? What can we apply in our lives and our work to benefit our patients and our personal and professional lives? What can you do to prepare and deal with the risk – on a personal level?

will-gadd“Nobody ever died wishing they had spent more time behind a desk.”

Mr. Will Gadd is one of the top outdoor adventure athletes in the world (Outside, Men’s Journal and Explore). Will is best known for wild outdoor adventures in multiple sports, but he’s most proud of his ability to complete those adventures safely and share them with others. He has appeared in, hosted or produced more than 100 global television projects. He is an award-winning writer (New York Times, Men’s Journal, etc.), filmmaker, and dad. His book on ice climbing is the top publication in its field, and has been translated into five languages. Mr. Gadd’s presentations on “Risk and Reward” and related topics take him all over the world to speak to audiences ranging from Nike and Enbridge to at-risk youth. He is a National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year” and recently became the first person to climb a frozen Niagara Falls. He is also an ACMG guide.

Finding the Peaks – Finding Beauty and Peace in a Harsh Environment
Speaker: Dr. Bruce Campana

Using anecdotes some of which are hilarious and some tragic, Dr. Campana will remind you why you do this job and how you can achieve fulfillment in your career. An affirmation of what we do and who we are.

There is a level of chaos inherent to emergency medicine. Each shift has its own stresses. We face adversity and success each and every shift. It is this in part that draws many of us to emergency medicine. Over the years however the pressures can add up affecting not only how you provide care but also your enjoyment of that work. Ultimately it can go beyond work.

How do you enjoy – fully enjoy – your emergency career? How do you appreciate the vistas that EM affords us all? How do you reach the peaks and navigate the valleys – if valleys are, in fact, bad? How do you soak in all that is good about emergency medicine and not let all that is bad destroy you? Our experiences and our responses to those experiences shape us and form the basis for our overall career satisfaction. How does he believe each of us can find the inner peace, balance and personal satisfaction to thrive during our careers and provide the best emergency care possible?

Dr. Bruce Campana

has been an emergency physician since completing his residency in Denver, Colorado in 1987. Since then, he has worked primarily in Vancouver, BC, but has also worked in southern California for two years and spent four years in Saudi Arabia. He has been an examiner for the Royal College, organized the Vancouver Island Emergency Conference, done 25 years speaking in high schools all around BC, made a few harm-reduction videos for safe driving and drugs, has been a CAEP Roadshow presenter, and has been invited to speak at a variety of national conferences. He currently splits his time between emergency medicine in Victoria and hyperbaric medicine in Vancouver.