For Dr John Bonning, hearing the news he had been elected President-Elect, caused a moment of reflection.

“The other nominees who put themselves forward for election, Dr Kim Hansen and Dr Niall Small, are such worthy individuals and both have done stellar jobs in in their various roles at the College, so it hit home the faith my colleagues had placed in me by electing me to represent them at the highest level,” Dr Bonning recalls.

“I feel elated, humbled, honoured, and excited about the challenge ahead.”

Dr Bonning will take office at ACEM's AGM, to be held on 18 November 2018 in Perth as part of the Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM).

Dr Bonning has 10 years’ experience in College governance, having worked in various roles. Chair of the New Zealand Faculty, he has been an ACEM Board Member since July 2014.

He has been a specialist emergency medicine physician for 15 years and was Director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Waikato Hospital in New Zealand from 2010 to 2017.

He is also the current Chair of the Council of Medical Colleges in New Zealand.

“I felt the time was right for a President from New Zealand to round out our 35th year. I will represent issues on both sides of the Tasman,” Dr Bonning says.

“The issues I want to stand for, continuing the great work that has been started, include equity (gender and cultural) and sustainability both for individual emergency physicians and within the health system. Supporting all who work in emergency departments, especially Fellows and trainees, advocating for them with health system managers, politicians and the public, is a priority for me.”

Passionate about the rational use of public health resources and promoting a strong public health system, Dr Bonning says he also wants to “connect with emergency physicians on the front line in emergency departments and see what I can do to support them doing a great job”.

“I am also very keen to support the broadest range of emergency departments, from the large located in metropolitan and major regional centres to the smaller emergency departments situated in rural areas,” he said.

Get involved in the College

Dr Bonning urges all Fellows and trainees to get involved in the College as much as they can.

“Advocacy and education are two of the pillars of the College, and we need as many voices as we can to promote our speciality,” he says.

“Get involved in education activities, teaching, assessing, or accreditation. Build the future emergency medicine workforce.

“Take control of our world. Advocate for emergency departments, to make sure we continue to promote the provision of effective equitable healthcare by a strong workforce.

“So, have your say. Get involved.”

Like most when asked the question about why they love emergency medicine, Dr Bonning prefaces his answer by saying he does not want to sound clichéd. But for him it is the love of “working in the organised chaos of the emergency department, dealing with uncertainty, the variety, and most importantly I love the people, the doctors, the nurses, and the patients”.

“Working shoulder to shoulder, doctors and nurses in a horizontal hierarchy, under pressure, to make a difference in people’s lives,” Dr Bonning says. “That’s what I love.”