President’s Corner – May 2021

Grant Scott, MD

Greetings New Mexico ACEP Members,
I am excited to serve representing the New Mexico ACEP chapter as president for the coming year and want to thank Dr. Margaret Greenwood-Ericksen for her leadership last year. This year we are again fortunate to have board members representing many of the state’s diverse locations and practice environments and I am looking forward to working with the board to find ways that NM ACEP can continue to advocate for our members over the next year.

In addition to holding elections for our officer positions and board membership, our annual meeting May 7th was a chance to get together as a group to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities we have as a specialty here in New Mexico and on the national stage. We were honored to have national ACEP President Dr. Mark Rosenberg and national ACEP Executive Director Sue Sedory join us for the first hour. Our wide-ranging conversation touched on improving access to opioid addiction treatment, national efforts to support physician reimbursement, and spent much of the time discussing the recent national ACEP report on emergency medicine workforce projections.

The stressors that emergency departments and emergency physicians have felt in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic and subsequent dramatic swings in ED volumes are undeniable. While most departments are now seeing our patient volumes rebound toward what we were used to pre-pandemic, the changes in patient volumes this year highlighted concerns in the workforce report and the need for continued national conversation on how the college can ensure that we as a specialty stay nimble and relevant. This is not a simple issue and will require a thoughtful conversation about resident training, new technologies like expanding telehealth to meet patients’ needs, and tradeoffs in how we staff our emergency departments. Many of us are fortunate to work side by side with excellent nurse practitioners and physician assistants, and we want to recognize their skills while also ensuring our patients have access to the experience and breadth of knowledge that an experienced emergency physician can provide when they need it.

This conversation will surely continue over the next year, and it is likely to come up both at the upcoming ACEP Leadership and Advocacy Conference July 25th-27th (where experienced NM ACEP board members Dr. Tony Salazar and Dr. Eric Ketcham will be representing New Mexico,) as well as at the ACEP Council and national ACEP Scientific Assembly in Boston October 23-28. Although many of these national conferences are moving back to in-person meetings, we have found there is a lot of benefit to the online format in a widely spread state like New Mexico. In at least the near term we are planning to continue the Zoom format for the quarterly meetings – the next two of which will be August 17th and November 16th, both at 4:00 pm. Although travel across the state can be time consuming, next spring we hope to get together in person for our annual meeting so we can continue to build the personal connections that tie us together.

Thank you for all your hard work across the state to serve the people of New Mexico.