As I’m sitting down in my flight back from #CBMEDE16 I start to think about the brazilian boy who suffered emergency surgery while he was only 3 months old. The myopic boy who wished to be a fighter pilot, but found on the ER show the inspiration to be a doctor. He wanted to be like Dr. Greene, but now sees himself more as Carter.
When the boy got into med school , 4 years ago, he didn’t know Emergency Medicine wasn’t a specialty here in Brazil. The boy wasnt flying nor getting to be the master of the ED. He was heartbroken.
Med School started, but he knew nothing really interested him other than acute problems, being covered in blood and getting his hands dirt. Something was happening though. News were scarce, but he could feel that something was happening. Facebook posts, google searches, Brazilian Medicine was changing. Brazilian EM was being literally pushed foward by people that didn’t want to keep up with the status quo. That knew patients deserve better.
They deserve better from the reality the boy was going to find during his firsts shifts at the Emergency Department. Lack of stretchers, lack of basic medicine (acetaminophen), lack of even proper patient care. It was a no man’s island. Living in Rio, it literally felt like a warzone. Multiple high velocity gun shot wounds every shift. People dying even before getting to the hospitals. Intubating on the floor, thoracotomies without blood, BVMs that dont work. But he also saw and meet a few heroes, that kept working. Kept striving for the best patient care. The best they could offer given the circunstances.
How does one can cope with a place like that? I still don’t know, but the boy must be crazy, because he loves it.
#CBMEDE16 was historic, because the pionneers were there. The first generation was there. The future was there. Crazy people were there. History was made. It was the first meeting after the approval of the EM Specialty by the Brazilian Council of Medicine. And it got about 2200 people over there, including the boy, med students, residents, doctors, nurses, paramedics and EMTs.
Brazilian EM has just been born and it’s already big.
The boy is happy. Because he now can see that the “country of the future”, actually has a bright future. The challenges will be many. There are plenty of crisis to be solved, that he alone really can’t do much about. Sometimes the boy will want to quit and just to something else. But people that come to the ED are sick, bleeding and dying. And helping them is more important than how he feel. He knows that. He saw that and already experienced it himself. #FOAMed will be there to help him through the worst times and the good ones too. The community is already supporting him in a way, he can’t really describe.
But the opportunities are also endless. Education opportunities, creativity, problem solving, outside of the box thinking. There’s an entire new path to be discovered. So much to learn and already so much to share.
The boy knows it may seen crazy, but he knows he’s crazy. He’s not afraid to tell everybody that.
The boy is happy because he’s not alone anymore. He doesn’t feel alone.
As he was a fool as a kid. He wants to keep being foolish.
As he was hungry for solutions and for improving patient care. He wants to keep being hungry and never give up.
And he wants to share with you his favorite personal poem.
INVICTUS – by Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
(That you can hear in Morgan Freeman’s voice)
Thank you for your continued support. There’s so much Brazilian EM have yet to accomplish and to achieve, but it’s so good to have this feeling. It’s good to enter the Danger Zone and fly into the unknown with a squadron of supporters.
It’s a dream coming true.