Dr. Michael Ertel has been practicing medicine for over 25 years. He’s a physician with a focused practice in Emergency medicine in Kelowna. Since his initial training, Ertel has seen younger ER doctors with enhanced skills in ultrasound use, airway management and simulation training. Being a life-long learner, he wanted to be properly trained in these skills. He also thought other doctors would be interested, too.
Dr. Ertel saw first-hand the advantages these skills offered patients, including more timely assessments, avoidance of radiological imaging, less need to return for further tests and lower hospital admissions.
Dr Ertel applied to the SSC’s Quality and Innovation Initiative to fund the Emergency Physician Skills Acquisition Program (EPSAP). SSC provided almost $500,000 to the EPSAP, which is now being offered through the Section of Emergency Medicine to all interested emergency physicians in BC.
The EPSAP will fund emergency physicians (up to a maximum of $2500) to enhance their skills by participating in one or more of the following:
- Certification in ED Ultrasound and/or attendance at an Ultrasound Course – this initial training will allow a physician to return to their facility and become certified after performing at least 50 supervised ultrasounds
- Attendance at an AIME course or equivalent
- Attendance at an approved Emergency Medicine Simulation Training Course
Many of these courses are offered through the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians. Since the funding was made available in November 2013 approximately 60 physicians have applied for funding and so far over $36,000 has been spent.
Dr. Ertel sums it up “with privileging and credentialing, the day is going to come when you are required to be proficient in ultrasound to work in a tertiary care emergency department. In addition, I really think everyone who does emergency medicine should at some point take an AIME course. Airways are often the number one priority in an emergency.”
To find out more, please contact Dr.Michael.Ertel@interiorhealth.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org