Winter Wellness in the Rockies


I’ve never been skiing. I’ve made it through 9 Chicago winters so voluntarily subjecting myself to snow and cold seemed foolish. On the other hand, I was in need of some nature time so presenting at the Rocky Mountain Winter Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado seemed like a great start. So, I thought of a topic related to my sports medicine interests, borrowed some ski attire, consulted my skiing/snowboarding friends, and was on my way.


I attended a pre-conference session on finding purpose and happiness, centered around the Japanese concept of ikigai. As the only resident in the room, I listened as attendings shared stories of resilience, burn out, frustration, and success, and then there was me: the representative of the millenial generation. I thought about how easily we forget about purpose in the chaos and details of the ER. Pressing pause and taking my search for meaning to the slopes was a great way to confront the coming year and deciding what my career will look like.  Some light thinking for two days of conquering the (small) slopes surrounded by natural beauty and much more talented skiiers. Despite my falls and bad knees, I felt a sense of flow, and as I focused, my frustrations quickly melted. Seeing my skills progress and feeling myself getting better was something I hadn’t experienced in some time. In a career where it seems there is no such thing as “good enough” mixed with a hint of Type A personality and the pressure to achieve more, there is little time to be proud of what we have accomplished. We need to do a better job of acknowledging our colleagues and supporting people’s successes and resilient behavior, especially during residency. All around, this conference was a great way to reset and recharge after a busy MICU month, and just in time to return to the busy ER for our Epic transition.

- Dr. Gabby Ahlzadeh, NUEM Class of 2019


Sun, Sand, and Career Development: One Resident's Experiences at NAEMSP 2018

In January of 2018, I was privileged to be able to attend the “National EMS Medical Directors Course and Practicum” at the National Association of EMS Physicians Conference in San Diego, CA. This could not have been possible without the generous support from the Spirit of 2010 Award from the Northwestern EM Class of 2010 or the Goldberg Charitable Trust Scholarship. At the course I was able to learn about the not only the fundamentals of emergency medical services (EMS) medical direction from experts in the field, but also the challenges facing the field currently and in the near future for those looking to work in prehospital medicine. The course did an excellent job covering a wide variety of topics from budgeting and finances of EMS to medicolegal case studies from recent case law involving prehospital care. Another highlight of the course was the frequent small group sessions going over challenging
prehospital cases that brought a wide variety of opinions and insights from across the country.
Additionally, and unexpectedly, we were privileged to work with a skills lab with fresh frozen cadavers and were guided through lateral canthotomies, perimortem C sections, difficult airway management, and resuscitative thoracotomies. This overall course and practicum helped refine not only concrete skills but also offered much in the way of leadership and professional development. The contacts made in this time were also invaluable to pursue a career in EMS and maintain relationships in relatively small community within emergency medicine.

Sincere thanks to the Class of 2010 for their support as well as the NUEM program leadership, chief residents, and program coordinators who helped make this opportunity possible!

Hashim Q. Zaidi MD, NUEM Class of 2019 (@hashimzMD)

PGY3 Hashim Zaidi, MD with NUEM Alum Ryan Huebinger, MD (c/o 2017) and NUEM faculty member Chris Richards, MD, MS at NAEMSP 2018.

PGY3 Hashim Zaidi, MD with NUEM Alum Ryan Huebinger, MD (c/o 2017) and NUEM faculty member Chris Richards, MD, MS at NAEMSP 2018.

Posted on January 23, 2018 .