The College took an important step this month, with the ACEM Board deciding that a vote will be held in regard to changes to the composition of the Board.
Significantly, this stems from the great work of the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and responses to their recent consultation where we clearly heard the call for change. We know that more diverse groups make better decisions, and this vote, if successful, will expand the opportunity for all members to put their hand up to sit on the Board by removing some of the barriers that members have pointed out over the last year.
Members will hear more from their colleagues and the College in the coming weeks on the timing and details of the vote.
As part of its commitment to diversity, the College has also formally adopted a target to work towards having 40% female representation of the Board, the Council of Advocacy, Practice and Partnerships and the Council of Education by 2022, and to publishing information relating to the diversity of College entities on a regular basis.
The Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group will next meet on 4 March to continue its great work. I encourage everyone involved with ACEM to embrace diversity in all its forms and get on board to help make what we do at the College, including the decisions we make, as good as they can be.
New Zealand advocacy
President-Elect, Dr John Bonning, New Zealand Faculty Chair, Dr Andre Cromhout, College CEO Dr Peter White, and the New Zealand Office Manager, Leanne Shuttleworth, met New Zealand Health Minister, the Hon Dr David Clark and the Chief Medical Officer, Dr Andrew Simpson, this month to talk about issues affecting members and trainees. Matters raised included refocusing the SSED (6-hour target) as an admitted patient access measure (to address ongoing concerns around access block), achieving better outcomes for patients who present to emergency departments with mental health or addiction challenges, achieving equity for Māori patients, and the international initiative, Choosing Wisely, which aims to curtail unnecessary medical tests and treatments.
The meeting was fruitful and strengthened the commitment of the College to working with the Ministry of Health to contribute to initiatives that will help to deliver the care the community deserves.
We look forward to more meetings throughout the year.
Speaking of New Zealand, the Winter Symposium draws closer. To be held in Rotorua, it looks like the speakers will each bring their unique experiences and challenge our current thinking. One of the presenters I am looking forward to is Dr Tim Parke, a specialist in pre-hospital and retrieval care. The College is currently collaborating with other entities, such as the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and the College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand to offer a Diploma and an Advanced Diploma of Pre-hospital and Retrieval Medicine. I look forward to sharing more details as they are finalised.
Check out the Winter Symposium website for full details of the program, workshops and social functions.
All the best to candidates preparing for the Clinical Exam, which will be held next month. We know this is a stressful time, so make sure you are looking after yourself. Thanks, too, to all the examiners, role players, medical students, nurses, actors, AMC and College staff, and volunteers who ensure the days run smoothly.
Until next time,