Dear colleagues, dear friends of EUSEM,
2020 was a year that we all want to quickly forget: it brought confusion, sadness, and some of us lost beloved ones, friends, and awesome colleagues. The pandemic that we are still facing is an unprecedented event in the modern world; it hit all countries on all continents stopping economic and social life all around the globe.
2020 definitely has not been a year anyone would have dreamt of!
Despite everything, I can see some positive outcomes from 2020:
We started to think of our future differently;
We started to look at our planet differently;
We now understand what is important to our lives and what is not;
We value the moment, after spending so much of our lives running after time.
And in the midst of this pandemic, Emergency medicine was brought to light:
TV shows were talking about our daily lives;
People were cheering us every night;
Governments understood the importance of Emergency medicine and allocated more resources to our specialty.
Dispatch centers, emergency medical services, emergency departments, disaster preparedness units all played a major role in flattening the curve;
Our EDs took care of millions of European citizens, our EMS transferred hundreds of critical care patients to give chances for the best care to everyone.
Our colleagues in the hospital came to help take care of the overcrowded emergency rooms and critical care units. I want to remember this unprecedented solidarity.
Now that 2020 is coming to an end, allow me to express my deepest gratitude to all of you, but above all, my sincere admiration for your resilience and hard work to save lives.
I’m proud to be one of you; I didn’t imagine becoming your president in such circumstances; I didn’t imagine not seeing you, at least once a year. However, we are EM and we know what resilience is.
We couldn’t physically meet in 2020; we had several different rendez-vous: from national societies meetings to the southeastern congress that was due to take place in Greece, to our annual European congress in Copenhagen. We didn’t want you to take the risk and travel in these difficult circumstances.
Our virtual congress that took place in September was the first of its importance in the field of emergency medicine and critical care. The chair of our congress, Professor Patrick Plaisance, and his team, together with the scientific committee led by Dr. Senad Tabakovic, made it amazing!
We covered various topics: of course, the COVID-19 pandemic, but also cardiac arrest new guidelines to come, as well as the Beirut blast, which was one of the biggest industrial disasters we witnessed in the past one hundred years, as well as many others.
We also ran many online courses and webinars that were widely attended. We created our Pediatrics Branch and strengthened our European Research Network.
Our journal, the European Journal of Emergency Medicine, reached its highest impact factor ever. Our Editor in chief Prof Yonathan Freund and his associates are working relentlessly to make it one of the top EM journals worldwide. I invite you all to support our journal by sending your best scientific papers to be published.
2020 was difficult indeed, but we have many projects for 2021!
Our CEO Michel de Bisschop is going on a well-deserved retirement. We can’t thank him enough for the great work he has done for EUSEM. Along with the new CEO that will be recruited, the EUSEM Board and I will continue to push EUSEM: Citius, Altius, Fortius, faster, higher, and stronger.
Stay tuned to the EUSEM website and social media to see all the upcoming news and changes in 2021.
I hope that 2021 will not be the same as this one.
I want to also take this opportunity to thank the board, the council, the sections, the committees, the working groups, the staff, and all of you for the great contribution to EUSEM development.
My thoughts go to all of you, who will be on the frontlines during the end of year celebrations. I wish you and your beloved ones a joyful season’s festivities and a very happy 2021 to come
President, The European Society for Emergency Medicine