alexa Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine

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Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine

The Society was established in the year 1981 by practitioners who worked for the emergence of the specialty of emergency medicine and the future implications for the care of ill patients attending hospitals “casualty departments”. From that time  the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, formally incorporated in 1984 was emerged. The Society serves to provide a forum for discussion and debate on issues of relevance to emergency medicine. The ACEM was formed in 1983, and rapidly created a training programme, an examination and a qualification - FACEM. There were strong opposition mainly from the established colleges, especially the College of Surgeons. They wanted to become affiliated with them, as the Anaesthetists were at that time. We were offered enticing inducements, including a joint FRACP (Emergency Medicine), but we wanted to be independent, and went our own way. The next ten years was a time of work and consolidation. Excellent doctors worked in the ED and developed the quality of care to a point when the next stage became possible. VEDA continued for some years, but eventually died. The ASEM and the College worked together to clear that there would always a need for an organisation to serve the needs of those who were not yet fellows or who for many reasons did not wish to see the very tough examination. Some of us were lucky enough to be founding members of the College, and hereby gaining a fellowship. Seat belts had been mandatory for a few years but we still saw injuries in patients who had not worn them. Despite the more recent legislation on drink driving, alcohol was a huge contributor to the road trauma that we saw. The compulsory blood alcohol samples from every patient over the age of 15 - including all passengers - gave us a huge amount of work, and often an appearance in court as well. At Box Hill in our peak year we too 1800 samples.

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