The International Federation for
Emergency Medicine : Its
History, Structure, and Plans for
the Future
Jim Holliman, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., F.I.F.E.M.
President-Elect, International Federation for Emergency Medicine
Professor of Military and Emergency Medicine
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.
Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medicine
George Washington University and Nanjing Medical University
The International Federation for
Emergency Medicine (IFEM) : Its History,
Structure, and Plans : Lecture Goals
Present the historical background of the
development of IFEM and its
accomplishments to date
Describe the current structure and
operations of IFEM
Present IFEM’s plans for future activities
Encourage participation in IFEM activities
Origins of IFEM
• Started in the late 1980’s as a consortium between the
British Association of Accident and Emergency
Medicine (BAEM), the American College of Emergency
Physicians (ACEP), the Canadian Association of
Emergency Physicians (CAEP), and the Australasian
College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM) (representing
Australia and New Zealand)
• Its original main activity was just conducting the
International Conference on Emergency Medicine
(ICEM) every 2 years
– First ICEM held in London, United Kingdom (U.K.)
• In 1986
Early History of IFEM’s ICEM
• The IFEM founding organizations agreed to rotate
the location of the ICEM every two years in the
sequence : United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,
United States, and then repeat the cycle
• The host country national EM organization was
responsible for organizing the ICEM in its country
• The IFEM Presidency rotated to the President of the
current ICEM host country EM organization
Change in Philosophy for IFEM
• In the mid 1990’s the IFEM leadership decided
to open up membership in the IFEM to other
countries’ EM organizations (in addition to the
original 4 Founding Member Organizations)
• Later it was decided that any IFEM member
organization could apply to host the ICEM (so
it would not just continue to rotate between the
original 4 Founding Member countries)
– First ICEM held “outside” the original 4 countries
was in Singapore in 2010
Categories of Membership in IFEM
• Founding Members : BAEM (now the College of Emergency
Medicine (UK) ), ACEP, CAEP, ACEM
• Full Members : EM organizations which are the “leading
national EM organization in a country which recognizes EM
as a specialty and has at least one EM specialist training
• Affiliate Members : Other national EM organizations in a
country already represented by a Founding or Full Member or
in a country where EM is not recognized or no residency
training programs yet exist
• Ex-officio Members : other multinational or regional
EM organizations
Note that Affiliate and Ex-officio Members do not
have voting privileges
IFEM’s Early Years Structure
• IFEM President was the President of the host
country organization for the ICEM
• Board of Directors (BOD) members were the
Presidents of the Founding and Full Members
• The IFEM Executive (acting as a leadership
committee) positions were elected from the
BOD members (Secretary, Treasurer, Member
at Large)
• BOD meetings were held at ACEP’s Annual
Scientific Assembly and at each ICEM
Further Changes in IFEM’s
Philosophy and Activities
• In the 2000’s the IFEM leadership decided the
organization should do more than just operate
the ICEM and should become more of a
“service organization” and undertake major
activities to assist its members and other
countries which do not yet have good EM
services with EM and EMS development
• The general goal was for IFEM to become the
world’s premier organization for EM
development and promotion
Background for IFEM’s Recent
Structural Changes
• As the number of members of IFEM grew to more
than 30, the BOD meetings became unwieldy and
there was a feeling that there should be more
regional representation and input at the Executive
level in IFEM
• Also as IFEM developed sources of revenue and
complexity of operations it was felt necessary to
incorporate the organization
• So starting in 2005 a multi-year Bylaws revision
process was undertaken
• New tripartite structure took effect in 2012
Current IFEM “Three Level” Structure
• Executive : President, President-Elect or Past-President, VicePresident, Treasurer, Secretary, Member at Large
(representative from the Planning Committee for the next
• BOD : all the members of the Executive plus 6 regional
representatives (Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central / South
America, Europe, North America)
• Assembly : Representatives from the Founding, Full, Affiliate,
and Ex-officio members (now total > 50)
• Executive and BOD have periodic phone conferences and all
3 levels have face to face meetings at the ICEM and ACEP’s
Annual Scientific Assembly
Should IFEM Have Individual
Members ?
• This has been extensively debated by the IFEM leadership
• Idea behind this would be to have IFEM membership be
available to EM physicians in countries that don’t yet have an
EM organization
• But it was decided that having individual memberships might
decrease participation in national EM organizations
• Individuals can currently be represented in IFEM through the
Ex-officio regional society members of IFEM (the Latin
American, African, Asian, and European Societies)
IFEM’s Designation of Committees to
Carry Out EM Development Efforts
Core Curriculum and Education
Clinical Practice
Specialty Implementation
Continuing Professional Development
ICEM Site Selection Sub-committee
IFEM’s Designation of Task Forces and
Special Interest Groups to Carry Out
Focused EM Development Efforts
Standard Terminology Task Force
Access and Availability Task Force
Global EM History Book Project
Disaster Medicine Special Interest Group
Pediatric Standards Special Interest
• Ultrasound Special Interest Group
• Triage Special Interest Group
Activities of the IFEM Finance
• Monitor and report income (IFEM’s main
income is from a per capita fee for each
attendee at the ICEM and from
membership dues)
• Maintain and dispense IFEM funds from a
bank account in Australia
• Develop new sources of income for IFEM
Activities of the IFEM Governance
• Much of the work of this committee was
completed in 2012 with the institution of
the new Bylaws structure for IFEM
• Provides ongoing review of the IFEM
Bylaws and maintains consistency of
wording between the IFEM Bylaws and
the IFEM Constitution (for reasons of
convenience and finances, IFEM has
been registered and incorporated in
Activities of the IFEM Core Curriculum
and Education Committee
• Published in multiple journals a standardized international
curriculum for medical student training in EM and a
curriculum for residency training in EM
• Is working on writing a standardized curriculum for continuing
professional development for EM physicians in practice, and
on a standardized international curriculum for paramedic
• Is preparing a manuscript on “Mapping the EM Curriculum to
Assessment Methods”
• Collaborating with the U.K. College of EM on its
“ENLIGHTENME” virtual learning resource
Activities of the IFEM Clinical Practice
• Its Pediatric Standards Special Interest Group produced the
widely acclaimed document “International Standards of Care
for Children” which is on the IFEM web site
• Its Ultrasound Special Interest Group is developing a
standardized international curriculum for point of care
ultrasound training
• Partnering with the Guidelines International Network to make
more international clinical care guidelines openly available
• Endorsed collaborative activities connected with “World
Sepsis Day”
• Cooperating with the Specialty Implementation Committee in
accumulating and posting on line web resources
Activities of the IFEM Specialty
Implementation Committee
• Conducted a Needs and Resources Assessment survey of the
IFEM membership
• Has posted a number of open access lectures as references
on the IFEM web site
• Is collaborating with the Clinical Practice Committee to
accumulate, categorize, and post a listing of useful EM web
sites on the IFEM web site
• Is starting work on a manuscript on “How to Start and Operate
a National EM Society”
Activities of the IFEM Continuing
Professional Development Committee
• Supervises the ICEM Site Selection Sub-committee
• Updated the IFEM Guidelines on operation of the
ICEM, and on operation of IFEM endorsed “satellite”
symposia, and on IFEM endorsement of other EM
• Collaborating with the Core Curriculum Committee
on the Standardized Recommendations for Postgraduate CPD manuscript
Activities of the IFEM Research
• Decided that IFEM should not formally affiliate with
any existing EM journal at this time
• Is working on identifying research content experts
and their areas of research expertise by country, and
on identifying current research networks
• Developing criteria for handing requests for research
network endorsements
• Identifying current educational modules on research
techniques which could be made openly available
Activities of the IFEM Site Selection
for the ICEM Sub-committee
• Review the applications by different IFEM member
organizations to host an upcoming ICEM
• Has sub-committee members from the planning
committees for the last and the next ICEM
• Assesses the strengths of each application relative
to the scientific and educational content of the
proposed program, the tourism attractiveness of the
proposed venue, and the ability of the hosting
organization to have the financial and personnel
resources to conduct the ICEM
Activities of the IFEM Standard
Terminology Task Force
• Has conducted a multiple round survey of the IFEM
membership on EM terminology and achieved a high
degree of agreement on the definitions of key terms
in EM
• Is working on submitting a journal manuscript of the
definitions list
Activities of the IFEM Access and
Availability Task Force
• Conducted an international pilot survey on the
degree of access to EM services in different
countries and is developing a journal manuscript
with the survey results
• Is working on developing sources of funding for
larger studies of EM access and availability
• One of the Task Force members, Dr. Gautam
Bodiwala of the U.K., has served as IFEM’s
representative to the World Health Organization’s
Trauma Care Committee
Activities of the IFEM Global EM
History Book Project
• Decided on a general content and preliminary
chapter list for a book on the history of EM globally
• Is identifying specific persons to author chapters in
the book (many of the chapters are about the history
of EM development in single countries)
Activities of the IFEM Disaster
Medicine Special Interest Group
• Collaborate with the World Association of Disaster
and Emergency Medicine and other disaster-related
organizations in developing disaster management
training resources and in participating in
international conferences
• Develop presentations on disaster management for
the upcoming ICEM’s
• Serve as an information resource on disaster
management for IFEM members
• Accumulate educational resources on disaster
management for IFEM’s web site
The IFEM Framework for Quality and
Safety in the Emergency Department
• Is a highly regarded consensus document
outlining the key components of safe, high
quality care in the Emergency Department
• Produced from the Proceedings of the IFEM
“Quality and Safety in Emergency Care
Symposium” held in the U.K. in November
• Reviewed in a plenary session at the ICEM in
Dublin, Ireland in June 2012
IFEM’s Current Office
• IFEM “Secretariat” is located in ACEM’s
office in Melbourne, Australia
• ACEM provides office and one half time
employee staff support
• IFEM is incorporated and registered under
Australian law, but effectively is
independent of Australia
• ACEP may be providing even more staff and
financial support in the near future
IFEM’s Current Officers of the
Executive Officer : Carol Reardon
President : Prof. Peter Cameron (ACEM)
President-elect : Prof. Jim Holliman (ACEP)
Past-president : Dr. Gautam Bodiwala (CEM U.K.)
Vice-president : Dr. Jim DuCharme (CAEP)
Treasurer : Dr. Andrew Singer (ACEM)
Secretary : Dr. Robert Schafermeyer (ACEP)
Member at Large : Dr. P. Ho (Hong Kong College of EM)
Current Regional Representatives
on the IFEM BOD
Africa : Prof. Lee Wallis (EMSSA)
Asia : Prof. V. Anantharaman (SEMS)
Australasia : Dr. Sally McCarthy (ACEM)
Central and South America : Dr. Edgardo
Menendez (SAE)
• Europe : Dr. Juliusz Jakubaszko (PSEM)
• North America : Dr. Terry Mulligan (ACEP,
Map of Current IFEM Members
(pink are founding and full members, and
gray-green are affiliate members)
Countries Currently Represented as
IFEM Founding or Full Members
• U.S.A., Colombia, Panama, Australia,
Bahrain, Canada, China, U.K., Turkey,
South Africa, Hong Kong, Hungary,
Ireland, Israel, Korea, Malaysia,
Netherlands, Poland, Argentina,
Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru,
Venezuela, India, Singapore, South
Pacific, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand,
Trinidad / Tobago, and Tunisia
Countries Currently Represented
by Affiliate Members of IFEM
• Panama, Madagascar, Brazil, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Germany, Lebanon,
Pakistan, Spain, Sri Lanka
Current IFEM Ex-officio Members
African Federation for EM
Asian Society for EM
ALACED (Latin America)
European Society of EM (EuSEM)
Pan American Collaborative EM
Development Program (PACEMD)
Countries with Current or Recent
Applications to Join IFEM
Costa Rica
IFEM Endorsed International
• Symposium on Resuscitation in Mexico,
June 2011
• Symposium on Quality and Safety in
Emergency Care in the U.K., November
• 8th and 9th New York City International
Conferences on EM, New York City,
August 2011 and August 2012
Upcoming ICEM’s
• Hong Kong : June 10 to 15, 2014
• Cape Town, South Africa : April 18 to 21, 2016
• 2018 : Mexico City, Mexico
IFEM Awards
• “Fellow of the IFEM”
– Several nominees every 2 years from any IFEM
member ; for service to IFEM or international EM
• “Gautam Bodiwala Lifetime Achievement
Award” to be first awarded in 2014
• “Humanitarian Award”
– 1 to 2 every 2 years for humanitarian work
• “Campbell McFarlane Award”
– For best presentation at ICEM
Current Challenges for IFEM
• Obtaining more funding and expanding its
office and support capabilities
• Perhaps some competition with other
international organizations such as WADEM
• Improving relations and collaborations with the
regional EM organizations such as EuSEM
• Getting more countries to develop national EM
societies and then join IFEM
Potential Broad Future Activities
and Goals for IFEM
• With World Health Organization
collaboration, establishing and
maintaining high quality EM in all
• Standardizing transnational clinical care
and EM training protocols
• Using EM to contribute to peace and
How Can You Interact with IFEM ?
• Get appointed to an IFEM committee
• Attend the ICEM
• Attend the multiple IFEM meetings held
at ACEP Scientific Assembly each fall
• Help a country you are working in to
develop a national society of EM and
then have that organization join IFEM
IFEM Contact Information
Carol Reardon, Executive Director
International Federation for Emergency Medicine
34 Jeffcott Street
West Melbourne, VIC 3003, Australia
Phone 61-407-042-543, fax 61-(03)- 9320-0400
Emails : [email protected] ,
[email protected] .
Website :
IFEM’s History, Structure, and Plans :
Lecture Summary
IFEM has grown from an original organization
representing just 5 countries to now representing
more than 50
IFEM’s International Conference on EM held every
two years has been very successful
IFEM is involved in multiple efforts at EM specialty
support and development worldwide
There is huge opportunity for further collaboration
of EM physicians and organizations with IFEM

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