Chair's Report to the Board

International Advisory Board Chair: Dr. Christopher Carpenter

Chris CarpenterWelcome to the 5th Annual Schwartz/Reisman Emergency Medicine Institute (SREMI) International Advisory Board (IAB) Meeting. SREMI’s scholarly productivity and emerging footprint in emergency medicine research under the leadership of Director, Dr. Bjug Borgundvaag and Research Director, Shelley McLeod in 2019 is astonishing. This report highlights just a handful of SREMI’s accomplishments and activities.


In 2018, SREMI obtained funding for a Research Chair Position. Dr. Jacques Lee began as SREMI Research Chair in July 2019. Jacques has been an international research leader in geriatric emergency medicine and is a remarkable addition to the SREMI faculty!


The annual two-day Emergency Department Administration Conference (EDAC) occurred in November 2018 at the Toronto office of the Ontario Medical Association, co‐chaired by Dr. Kuldeep Sidhu, Dr. Dave Dushenski and Dr. Howard Ovens. The conference featured several members of the IAB, exhibiting the intercontinental transdisciplinary leadership available to SREMI. On November 26-27th, EDAC 2019 will follow the IAB meeting and will focus on pragmatic application of quality and safety for busy emergency care teams. Co-Chairs Howard Ovens, David Dushenski, and Dr. Paul Hannam have organized the first day including topics ranging from early pregnancy care challenges to surge capacity, urgent care centers and creating an emergency department culture of safety. A second full day co-Chaired by Dr. Lucas Chartier and Dr. Shawn Mondoux provides curricula around quality and safety including a primer on audit/feedback, approaches to simulation innovations, and creating patient centered value. North York General Hospital is a leader in graduate medical education and SREMI is delighted to collaborate for another successful EDAC event.


EM Cases ( was developed by Dr. Anton Helman of NYGH and disseminated with SREMI support. EM Cases began as a podcast with over 9 million podcast downloads since inception and episodes average 160,000 downloads per month. The website has 1.6 million views annually (a 47% increase since 2018) and the new Quiz Vault has 2,367 subscribers as of early October. Over the years, EM Cases has expanded to include blogs, videos, eBooks, and courses. The 5th Annual EM Cases course is Feb 8-9 and enrollment typically fills within hours of opening. Anton also developed “The Course About MedEd Podcasting” for aspiring podcasters and other emerging social media influencers. I sent one of my Chief Residents to that course this year!


Dr. Don Melady created two highly recognized web-based asynchronous learning platforms. Geri-EM ( includes six geriatric emergency medicine cases with video learner-focused interactive modules for patients, nurses, physiotherapists, and physicians to problem-solve common bedside scenarios.

Geri-EM averages 3,000 unique visits per month and provides medical education credits for nurses and physicians. Only 1/3 of users are Canadian – 27% are from the United States and 10% are from Australia, but physicians from 187 countries have used this website. Dr. Melady also created for managers and administrators seeking knowledge about the merits of a geriatric-friendly emergency department and has about 400 visits per month.


SREMI scientists and their collaborators are emerging as research leaders. Innovative clinical research continues ranging from early pregnancy emergency care to hip fracture-associated delirium and analgesia in the opioid epidemic era. In total, SREMI scholars published 28 manuscripts in 2019. By comparison, the early career assistant professor academic emergency physician in the United States who publishes one manuscript per year is in the 95th percentile for productivity and the 99th percentile is 4.2 manuscripts per year. SREMI scholars are amazingly prolific. Funders are also taking note of the unique attributes of SREMI scholars. Dr. Catherine Varner received the University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine Clinician Investigator Award, and Dr. Keerat Grewal received the Early Career Investigator Program Award from the Institute of Cancer Research at CIHR. Shelley McLeod and Bjug Borgundvaag continue to lead the provincial evaluation of the electronic Canadian Triage and Acuity Scale (eCTAS) program.


The SREMI vision is to enhance patient health via emergency medicine innovations rooted in transdisciplinary research and education. The energy displayed and accolades already attained by SREMI provide a foundation for current and future scholars to catalyze opportunity and promote positive change, yet pragmatic challenges of sustainable growth remain ahead. The IAB held the second mid-year IAB meeting via teleconference on June 24 and openly analyzed varying paths to growth and sustainable financial models for that expansion. Fueling and prioritizing SREMI’s maturation will require focus, intuition, and commitment from every stakeholder, including the IAB.

Dr. Borgundvaag, Ms. McLeod, and the entire SREMI team deserve applause for their perseverance striving to improve the lives of patients seeking care for acute illness, injury and mental health problems. Worldwide, emergency medicine challenges abound as increasing numbers of nations build emergency departments and accompanying training programs, while payers challenge the measurable value and scientific merits of emergency medicine. As stated by Winston Churchill “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty”. SREMI provides emergency medicine’s optimism and the IAB stands by as a proud SREMI collaborator.

Respectfully submitted,

Christopher R. Carpenter, MD, MSc, FACEP, AGSF
Chair, SREMI International Advisory Board
Associate Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis