Dr Hannah Cooper explains why she felt the need to create a regional acute medicine society, and how she made it a success.
‘As the specialty training representative for West Yorkshire I identified a clear need for more acute medicine training days after feedback from trainees. The need for an SpR forum had also been raised at SAC level. Dr Joe Hogg, an acute medicine consultant in Mid Yorkshire with close ties to respiratory medicine, informed the committee of regional respiratory evening meetings that were held four times a year. They consisted of specialty specific hot topic presentations, case presentations and discussion. We felt that these successful meetings provided an ideal template on which to base similar meetings in acute medicine; thus YAMS (Yorkshire Acute Medicine Society) was formed.
Our plan was to have two meetings in the first year and then, if successful, extend this in subsequent years. Our aims were numerous. We wanted to provide specialty specific training sessions to run alongside the general internal medicine (GIM) training days and SAM meetings. We wanted to provide a forum where our acute medicine trainees could present cases and topics in a regional setting, create a network which would facilitate discussion on issues and increase awareness of opportunities for senior trainees and provide our members with an opportunity to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date.
We were very grateful to secure sponsorship for the first YAMS meeting, which we planned to hold in early September, from Boehringer Ingleheim. They agreed to pay for hot food and drinks for the meeting.
We decided to include two ‘hot topics’ in acute medicine and then have a session aimed at trainees specifically. We secured expert speakers to discuss the mental capacity act and ambulatory care. For the trainee session we recruited senior trainees to present how they had established their specialist skill training for the benefit of the new cohort of trainees starting in August. We were very keen that we could develop the format of these meeting based upon feedback received.
The inaugural YAMs attracted twenty-five trainees and consultants and received positive verbal feedback on the night. We also asked for written feedback that would enable us to reflect on the meeting and develop YAMS further. Suggestions included trainee-led case presentations with other specialists providing support and also alternating location between West and East Yorkshire. We are already planning for our second meeting which will be in February 2012.
In the future we are aiming to increase the number of meetings to four per year. We will also look to engage other allied health professionals in acute medicine to create a multi-disciplinary forum. We will look to acute medicine trainees in the region to lead case presentations and help with the organisation of YAMS. We hope that YAMS will continue to grow successfully and be a real asset to acute medicine in Yorkshire.’