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Before my subscription to what is now EM:RAP expires in a couple of days, I just did the November 2019 CME for Emergency Medical Abstracts.  As part of that month's abstracts there was a goodbye message from one of the founding physicians for Emergency Medical Abstracts (EMA), Dr. Rick Bukata.  Per his statement, his ED in California was the first in the country to be fully staffed by EM residency trained physicians.  Hearing his goodbye statement flashed me back to when I first became aware of the service in 1992 as I was breaking ground in Dallas as an EM PA.  Each month I'd listen to he and Dr. Jerry Hoffman (UCLA) review clinical abstracts and discuss not only the topic but also the validity of the study based on whether it was prospective/retrospective; did the writers change their assessment after stating that they were initially assessing something else, were the conclusions valid, etc.  I depended on these guys to help keep me current on the latest data not only in medicine, but EM specifically.  They were a godsend.  Not only did it keep me employed but the information that I was able to display led to other PA's being added to the facilities where I worked.  One of the abstracts led to an infamous encounter with an ED doc who said explicitly that MDI's could not be used for cough-inducing bronchitis.  Based on the information that I was able to provide to the ED director from one of the abstracts I was later given a private apology by the physician though the initial encounter was in front of God and country at the nursing counter for all to hear.  After leaving EM for UC/PC, I transitioned over to a newer product known as Primary Care Medical Abstracts, though Drs. Bukata and Hoffman would provide the reviews for that service as well.  As the years went by more and more new voices would appear each month, though still providing the same information.

I later came to find out that each month the abstracts had been reviewed initially not by another physician, but by Dr. Bukata's sister who was a PA.  Each month until last fall she would read each article and break down the specifics of the study into an abstract form.  He announces that she lost her life from brain cancer just a couple of days prior to his goodbye message, having not known the experience of rest, relaxation, and retirement.  His take home was to live in the moment and not to take these times for granted.  As I heard this I reflected back on the multiple major holidays that I spent in ED's while my young family went about their celebrations without me, and me without them.

For those of you still in the field, I would encourage you to take advantage of their sample abstracts, though the reviews are now provided by the next generation of EM physicians, and see if it's something that you might benefit from.  EMA is a subset of EM:RAP which I'm sure many of you are familiar with.

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