Dear Fellows and Trainees
This is the fifth and the second last Presidential Address I deliver in my 2nd consecutive term of office. This year, the college is celebrating her 20th anniversary. I am so lucky that the tremendous amount of work has been well supported by the devoted group of fellows in and out of the council. Let’s remember this memorial moment which marks a significant milestone in the development of Emergency Medicine in Hong Kong.
The college continues to grow. We have a total number of approximately 360 fellows, which constitutes slightly less than 5% of the total number of fellows under Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. There is steady growth in number of trainees in various A&E training centres but sustainability is really a concern. Such sustainability issue does not only trouble Hong Kong but also quite a number of developed Emergency Medical Systems around the world. International Federation of Emergency Medicine had published a position statement on sustainability workforce last year. One of our fellows had participated in writing of that position statement and re-stated that similar situation has happened in Hong Kong. An editorial on this subject was published in the March issue of our Journal this year. The unfavourable workplace condition and dismal career prospect have to be addressed.
Despite all the difficulties and constraints, I am most proud and happy to announce that the college has succeeded in creating the first subspecialty – Clinical Toxicology. Council of Hong Kong Academy of Medicine had given the formal approval in March 2016. Subsequently the specialist registration was created by the Medical Council of Hong Kong. The title of Specialist in Clinical Toxicology becomes a quotable qualification in Hong Kong. In this fellowship conferment ceremony, the 13 first fellows are conferred fellowship in Clinical Toxicology. They will perpetuate the development of this subspecialty under the Clinical Toxicology Board of the college. I am looking forward to further enhancement of care to patients suffering from toxicological problems.
A workforce on 20th anniversary celebration was established and led by our Vice-President since end of 2015. The workforce has developed strategy, direction and programs. Several Now-TV series on sports medicine and toxicology were produced and broadcasted in mid-2016. A 3-minutes corporate video which reveals different faces of emergency physicians was also produced and first broadcasted at the Scientific Symposium this year. A monograph titled “From Breadth to Depth, Two Decades of Advancement in Emergency Medicine” is published at this important milestone. Every fellows and members have possession of a resuscitation bag which hopefully can use to save life when such occasion arises. In the month of October 2016, the Headline Daily published a series of stories related to emergency medicine practice. The whole purpose is to increase public awareness of our specialty.
As in previous years, the two busiest standing committees are still the Education Committee (EC) and Scientific Affairs Committee (SAC). EC has been busy with aligning our Singaporean counterpart in Emergency Medicine for the possibility of mutual recognition and ultimate conjoint examination at the intermediate level. In essence, we are looking for the possibility of equivalence between our Intermediate Examination on Emergency Medicine and Master of Medicine in Emergency Medicine Singapore. It is hoped that mutual recognition can be worked out in 2017. Train the trainer workshop on workplace based assessment was conducted. More formative assessment hopefully can be introduced into our training program in near future. EC has decided and council approved to purchase an e-portfolio system for our trainees. A more systematic and easily retrievable platform can be created to keep track training progress of our trainees.
Under SAC, there is one new subcommittee born in the past council year. The EM Infectious Disease subcommittee has quickly formulated a Practical Infectious Disease Workshop for our EM fellows and trainees. The four half day workshops will be held in November this year. Disaster Medicine subcommittee is organizing the 2nd Fundamental Disaster Response Course and the 1st Advanced Disaster Response course in 2016. The number of registrants is encouraging. Intensive Care subcommittee has trademarked their self developed course – Emergency Care of the Critically Ill. Research seminar was revived in 2016 with 24 participants. Under Prehospital Medicine subcommittee, college is providing aeromedical transfer training to crewmen of Government Flying Services. The Memorandum of Understanding is due to review and re-sign in 2016.
Academically, the 2nd edition of Practice of Emergency Medicine is completed and published just before the end of this council year. The book is contributed through the hard work of many fellows. It will be a very useful guide for our trainees studying emergency medicine practice. Our journal – The Hong Kong Journal of Emergency Medicine – is seeking collaboration opportunity with a publishing house from United Kingdom. The on-line submission service, marketing experience, advertisement, indexing advice and end-to-end publishing service will help our journal to further increase readership and professional recognition.
Last but not the least, I would like to pass a vote of thanks to those outgoing council members who had whole-heartedly contributed their time, energy and effort to the college matters for the past years. Many of them will stay on and new members are joining. May I wish the new council every success in leading our specialty to another new height! Your support is the guarantee for success.
HO Hiu Fai