Public Release: 

Emergency physicians to convene in Seattle in October

American College of Emergency Physicians

Washington, DC -- More than 5,000 emergency physicians and others are expected to attend the annual Scientific Assembly of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), which begins Sunday, October 6, and ends Wednesday, October 9, at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle.

Emergency physicians will attend hundreds of courses on the latest clinical innovations in the specialty of emergency medicine, debate the latest controversies, and discuss the growing crises of overcrowding and lack of medical liability insurance, which is threatening patient care. For brochure of all activities, highlights of significant courses, and a news media registration form, call 202-728-0610, ext 3006.

"Emergency departments are operating at critical capacity in the United States," said Michael L. Carius, MD, President of ACEP. "More than 1,000 hospital emergency departments have closed in the past decade while the number of emergency patients has increased dramatically to over 108 million annually. Emergency medicine is an essential community service, but we are facing many challenges, including a lack of resources, staffing shortages, and a medical liability insurance crisis."

ACEP will sponsor a special briefing for the news media about the state of emergency medicine during the meeting. In addition, award-winning author, television commentator, and columnist Jeff Birnbaum will address the General Session on Sunday, October 6 at 9 a.m.

Included in the program are courses on the role of emergency physicians in terrorism response, such as those examining the differences between flu and biologic agents ("Is It Influenza?"). Other courses will focus on such topics as protecting patient medical records (HIPAAchondria: Can You Still Get Medical Records?) and the new ACLS guidelines, which will be debated by nationally recognized emergency physicians. Dr. Jeffrey Runge, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will discuss the benefits of emergency department screening programs in "Put the Brakes on the Next Drunk Driver."

In addition, more than 375 presentations of groundbreaking emergency medicine research will be introduced during the Research Forum, on Monday and Tuesday, October 7 and 8 , from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. A panel of experts will discuss abstracts with the most significant implications for the practice of emergency medicine during a session on "Cutting-Edge Emergency Medicine: Highlighting the Best and Brightest of the 2002 Research Forum" on October 7 from 4 to 6 p.m.

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ACEP is a national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. With nearly 23,000 members, ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies.

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