Dear Fellows and Trainees,
Our College was officially established in 1996. In year 2012, she passed her 15th anniversary. The rapid growth and development of this youngest specialty in Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (HKAM) has met with significant challenges recently. On one hand, our specialty is increasingly recognized by the lay public, peer colleagues and health administrators as reflected by increase in number and complexity of attendance at our training centers, prosperity of the private market and being entrusted to tackle various contingencies. The specialty should be more welcomed by new medical graduates. Yet the contrary occurred in recent years. Some training centers could not recruit enough trainees to fill their allocated vacancies. Work pressure is escalating and training is inevitably affected. It is a worrying phenomenon and measures ought to be implemented to avoid entering into a vicious cycle.
Even before my new term of presidency, I started to visit various training centers to collect views and ideas from our frontline fellows and trainees. So far I was invited to visit approximately two thirds of the College's accredited centers (QMH, PYNEH, TKOH, HKPIC, QEH, PMH, YCH, TMH/POH, NDH, PWH and UH). Together with the second college retreat held in April 2012, both the council and I had clearly heard the voice from many of you. Standing at the crossroad, your input has helped the Council to gear the College's future at the desired direction. While there are many external uncontrollable factors exerting influence on reaching our target, it is reconfirmed that the college should re-focus ourselves on 2 aspects, which are training program revamp and subspecialty development.
Apart from Scientific Affairs Committee which has 10 subcommittees now to prepare for future sub-specialization, the new Education Committee (EC) has incorporated Examination Committee and, under the leadership of Dr. Gordon Wong, Censor-in-chief - the newly created Office Bearer post, became the busiest Committee in the past year. Numerous meetings were held to discuss issues related to training content and assessment methodology. The new Content of Learning or syllabus is soon to be published to guide study and training. The last conjoint MCEM/IEEM was successfully held in March 2012 as planned. The Training and Examination subcommittee of EC is busy in preparing the first stand-alone IEEM in March 2013. More formative type of assessment methodology will replace the current summative assessment method with examinations being the sole method to assess achievement of standard. Training point and logbook systems will be revamped to better reflect training milestones. More mandatory elements will be considered in the future training program and successful completion of those mandatory programs will form part of the formative assessment. Inter-hospital rotation within our own specialty may be required. Training centers are strongly encouraged to develop their own subspecialty to cater for future training needs. I am sure EC will continue to work hard in the years to follow to ensure capable specialists are produced through an up-to-date training program and less stressful assessment strategy.
Intensive care, after toxicology, will be a subspecialty which our fellows can consider to pursue. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists in June this year to officiate the possibility. All the details have been worked out. A minor change in our training program, which needs endorsement from EC of HKAM, is the final step before announcement to all of you in near future through our College website.
Resuscitation Council of Hong Kong (RCHK) was inaugurated on 26th May 2012 at the St. John Ambulance Headquarter Building at MacDonald Road. The ceremony was officiated by the immediate past Secretary for Food and Health, Dr. York Chow. Our college is one of the 8 founding organizations. I, representing HKCEM, was elected as the Vice-Chairman of the Council. A lot of work needed to be done in future to promulgate issues related to resuscitation in local community as well as international communities. All our resuscitation courses are recognized and accredited by RCHK. Our College has been advocating widespread installation of public accessible defibrillators and the effort may be amplified through RCHK.
Various subcommittees under Scientific Affairs Committee are still very active. Many established education programs are still ongoing. New programs like WINFOCUS USG courses, intensive care courses and simulations courses were devised and run throughout the year. They were highly welcomed and well attended. Our fellows and trainees are able to master multi-skill to manage the increasing demand from our patients / systems. Our collaboration with the Greater China, namely mainland China, Taiwan and Macau, are tighter and healthier. Dr. Peter Pang remains to be the key figure in linking our college with many colleagues in Mainland.
Upon closure of the International Conference on Emergency Medicine (ICEM) held in Dublin, Ireland in June 2012, the preparatory work for ICEM 2014 to be held in Hong Kong officially commenced. In fact, an organizing committee, chaired by Dr. Axel Siu, was formed even before ICEM 2010 held in Singapore. Swire Travel Company Ltd was appointed as our conference secretariat. In less than 2 years’ time, this largest conference in the College’s history will be held in Hong Kong. More than 2000 participants are anticipated and the budget is estimated to be around HK$10 million. Your support is needed with respect to being a potential speaker, a helper or a participant. Local researches are strongly encouraged to allow presentation at the conference. The College Council will continue to invest in the preparatory work. More fellows / trainees are sponsored to attend conferences held overseas to promulgate the event.
Last but not the least, the Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine under the leadership of our new Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Tsui Kwok Leung, has gained much recognition from readers in Asian countries. Article submission for publication, especially from overseas authors, has increased substantially. More reviewers are needed to screen out the quality articles for publication. More original articles and review articles from prominent EM leaders will further improve the impact factor. Information technology advancement will help to increase citation record. We should be proud of owning this resourceful journal.
This is the first Presidential Address I wrote to summarize the major achievement in the past 1 year. All the achievement was accomplished through the concerted effort of many of you. I would like to take this opportunity to thank and appreciate your contribution. The challenges in front of us should not be under-estimated. Nevertheless, I believe opportunity usually comes with challenges. Let’s work together to open up new opportunities for improvement.