For those of you that have somehow missed it, the Social Media Critical Care (SMACC) conference is happening 19th-21st of March. This is the conference we’d most want to attend this year. Unforturtunately for us, it all happens on the Gold Coast in Australia. Fantastic place, but far, far away. Still, it’s on our list of conferences for 2015 – and hopefully, with a bit of planning, we’ll make it there then. Here’s a short overview of pre-SMACC and SMACC 2014, named SMACC GOLD, and why you should care.
The cradle of SMACC
Social Media Critical Care: The conference name pretty much sums it up. It’s been a huge task lifted by the Australian part of the social media (SoMe) world of medicine. Australia’s been at the forefront of this social media revolution. It seems like the combination of Australia and Emergency medicine – a young country and a young specialty – was perfect! Just young enough, smart enough and not traditional enough to be held back – still keeping with their rebel, settler attitude, it seems, they broke away from traditional ways of teaching and learning medicine and started the FOAM (Free Open Access Medicine) revolution.
Of course, the Americans have their rebels too, the rebel leader being Scott Weingart. Whereas Europe, the old world, has been slower to catch on. British docs have been most active, but it seems the British medical society is divided on SoMe. I have a feeling most of the SoMe docs of Britain have had an Australian fling at some time in their career.
Which takes us back to ScanCrit. Our Australian fling was with Sydney HEMS, where we were fortunate enough to work under non other than Cliff Reid, who made us see the enormous potential of SoMe in medicine. And a few months later, the first Scandinavian blog on anaesthesia, emergency medicine and critical care was born, and the following years taught us more in medicine and connected us with more enthusiastic and dedicated docs around the world than would ever have been possible in the old way.
SMACC just builds on this. I was blown away by the program and execution of SMACC 2013. What I loved was also the form carried over from typical Australian lectures and conferences: Light-hearted, humorous and easy to follow. But don’t mistake that for not being hard-core evidence based and medically focused. The Aussies are kings of combining those two sides. And this makes for a more entertaining conference – but also a better learning yield! Bonus: You don’t have to do the stay-awake-battle with yourself!
I wish all conferences would be like this, but I realise it’s a long way to go to change traditional conferences to be more in tune with FOAM, more like SMACC. So the Aussies did it right: They just started their own conference!
SMACC my bitch up
So, why are we not there for SMACC GOLD? First bad excuse: We’ve been extremely busy. Second bad excuse: It’s a long, expensive way down there. Only decent explanation: We’re bad at planning. Luckily, since this is also a social media conference, everything from SMACC 2013 and GOLD is and will be available online for all to see. If you haven’t seen the lectures from SMACC 2013, check it out here. What you miss out on, is REAL social interaction and actually being there. Oh, and the amazing Aussie climate and people.
For SMACC GOLD, the build-up has started with the already traditional pecha-cucha talks and more light-hearted sim-war videos already piling up with goodness, so head over for a look. The full SMACC 2013 archives are available here, with talks by Roger Pye, ECMO expert, Myburgh’s great talks on fluids and catecholamines, Simon Carley takes and entertaining(!) look at statistics and Roger Harris look at the right heart. And in addition to the pure medical themes, you’ll find SoMe centred talks on builing a medical app and behaving online as a doctor, as well as the even more important sides of medicine: motivation, training and CRM touched on by Cliff Reid and Weingart. And the set-up is just as impressive this year.
So follow up on the SMACC 2013 talks and follow SMACC GOLD through the @smaccteam on Twitter and wait for the talks to be released. Then start planning your SMACC 2015 attendance! It would be great to have more Europeans and Scandinavians there. And who knows, we might have a EuroSMACC conference one day! But for now, follow the GOLD.
— The SMACC Team (@smaccteam) March 12, 2014