Sunday, March 11, 2007

JEMS Conference

The JEMS conference was an awesome experience. For three days I felt privileged to be surrounded by such a vast number of EMS educators and providers, to learn from them and hear their stories. I walked from class to class with my friends, an ID badge hanging from my neck identifying me as a Paramedic. I wore it proudly, turning it face-forward whenever I noticed it had turned around. I felt honored to be part of such a crowd.

Two friends and I attended classes on a huge array of subjects, ranging from difficult airway management to heart sounds, from COPD to seizures. We sat and listened as providers from around the country told their war stories and the lessons they learned, with each experience backed by science through presented research. Myths were busted as revelations were made, the truth revealed through academic rigor. It was interesting to see EMS from such a prospective. To be taken seriously. Doctors on the panels were focused towards our cause, standing ahead of the class but beside us as colleagues. It was clear to everyone there: this is how EMS is supposed to be.

I am excited to bring this feeling home with me, renewed in strength. The patient always comes first. Our actions have to be regulated through the rigor of science. We have the capability and responsibility to make ourselves better. Each of these, not lessons learned but mantras that weaved through the convention center. The message was common knowledge, both the reason and purpose of attendance. I am thrilled to be part of this.

Through the dark we drove home on Saturday night. All of us were tired from the experience, the late nights and early mornings having taken their toll. Still our conversation remained heavy with the purpose of EMS. We discussed the things we had learned, the reasons why we do this and the responsibilities we have been charged with. Exhausted, but recharged.

A quote from Biologist and Nobel laureate Jacques Monod:

In science, self-satisfaction is death. Personal self-satisfaction is the death of the scientist. Collective self-satisfaction is the death of research. It is restlessness, anxiety, dissatisfaction, agonoy of the mind that nourish science.

May we all remain dissatisfied.


In other news:

I am very sorry to have missed the meeting with the other bloggers on Friday night. I mixed up the times, staying later to watch the JEMS games instead of heading across the street. I was looking forward to meeting everybody, but by the time I got out everyone had already left. Sorry guys, next year I will be there.

I am still not sure when or with whom I will be precepting. Things seem to be still somewhat up in the air, and I hesitate to guess what will happen. I'll post about it when I find out.


Jamie Davis, the Podmedic said...

Baby Medic -- sorry we missed you at the blogger meet up. Catch up with me sometime, I'd love to interview you about your experiences on the MedicCast.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could meet your friend - he sound very cool. And, as a side note. What are your feelings - is "Asthma" under the main heading of "COPD" or do you feel it is a separate disease process?

Please comment.

podmedic said...


I will chime in with an answer and Baby Medic can add one later if he chooses.

COPD is generally used to cover patients with chronic bronchitis or emphysema. A key part of the disease process is that it is a progressive, chronic disease, meaning that under current medical knowledge -- if you have COPD, you can manage the lung capacity you have and slow down the loss of capacity in the future, but you can't get capacity back.

Asthma may share some symptoms and common signs like air trapping, but it is a transient disease -- it comes and goes when triggered by an allergen, stress, or a combination of both. When asthma is not acting up, lung function is normal (or nearly so).

I hope that answers your question.

fiznat said...


haha, "anonymous" is actually one of my friends from work who went down to the conference with me-- he's asking about COPD and Asthma a bit sarcastically, because we had an argument about that subject over the weekend while at the conference: "does asthma fit under the heading of COPD?"

I argued that it does, since 1- I was taught that way, 2- the current Mosby paramedic book lists Asthma as one of the COPD diseases, 3- asthma is chronic, obstructive, pulmonary, and a disease. My friends had a smiliar argument as yours, but I would ask: isnt chronic bronchitis an episodic issue as well? I beleive it could be argued that asthma and bronchitis could be considered very similar, as they both cause obstruction via excessive mucus production, and both are triggered by a single inslut. (An allergen for asthma, a bacteria or virus in the case of bronchitis). Both diseases are chronic and episodic, resulting in normal lung function in between inflammations.

Anyways, its a silly argument - we know that. Just something to argue about haha. Thanks for your input!

Anonymous said...

Thought the experence was great, seeing and the great MD's and leadership of EMS amazing but beyond Bob Page most of the classes a review of everything we've done in medic school.

Melissa said...

Just found your blog, hope you don't mind if I add you to mine!

Blue Ridge Medic said...

You got a great blog here, keep up the good work. Allthough I don't aspire to be a physician, I too am a paramedic student. Keep up the good work and I hope you don't mind that I added you to my links.