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A Half Century of Emergency Medicine Advancement on Display in San Diego
Thousands of Emergency Physicians Come to Southern California for ACEP18, Oct. 1-4
Aug 6, 2018

WASHINGTON — The needs of emergency patients will be front and center when more than 8,000 emergency physicians gather in San Diego October 1-4 for the ACEP 2018 Scientific Assembly, the largest and most prestigious Emergency Medicine conference in the world.   This year, ACEP is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and will feature an interactive museum exploring the history of emergency medicine and take a close look at where this specialty – that medically treats about one-third of the U.S. population — is headed in the future.

WHEN:      Monday, Oct. 1st — Thursday, Oct 4th

WHERE:   San Diego Convention Center
111 W Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA  92101

Hundreds of seminars and research presentations will cover a vast array of issues facing emergency medicine professionals and tens of millions of emergency patients.  Topics include the balance between pain management and the nation’s growing opioid epidemic, disaster preparedness and solutions to surprise health insurance gaps.  For a complete list of courses at this year’s conference, please click here.

In addition to the education programming for physicians, which the news media are also invited to attend, hundreds of new studies releasing the latest findings in emergency medicine will be on display and presented at the ACEP 18 Research Forum.  Find out what medical researchers are discovering as they push the boundaries of emergency medicine and explore what’s next.  To obtain embargoed abstracts in advance, contact Steve Arnoff at

Registration fees are waived for credentialed members of the news media.  Reporters are invited to attend all the sessions and courses during ACEP 18, as well as the Research Forum and Exhibit Hall. To register, you must have a valid press credential or identification from a valid news organization.  The deadline for news media to pre-register is September 15, 2018.  You can do that that by going to or onsite during the conference at the Media Relations Office in room 27A of the San Diego Convention Center. A News Media Workroom nearby will also be available to media. 

The hours of the Media Relations Office are:

Sunday, September 30              1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Monday, October 1                    7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, October 2                   8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 3              8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday, October 4                 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

ACEP staff will be available to provide information and help coordinate interviews with faculty and ACEP members.  The News Media Workroom will be available for use by the press.  The workroom will have telephones, internet connections (computers will not be provided) and workspace to conduct interviews.


(NOTE: Room assignments to be determined.  For more information on a specific course, please email Mike Baldyga at  

Monday, October 1

8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.: “Dying to be Pain Free: The US Opioid Drug Death Epidemic”
Faculty: Debra E. Houry, MD, MPH, FACEP, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The emergency department sees the opioid crisis first-hand, including the patients who experience overdoses.  But what is the scope of the problem?  What can emergency physicians do?  What, if any, is the role for prescription Narcan?  During this interactive session, Dr. Houry will discuss quantifying and qualifying opiate addiction, the socioeconomic costs of this escalating problem and policy solutions.

1:00 p.m. – 1:25 p.m.: “Dangers from the Sea & Surf: Hazardous Marine”
Faculty: Karen B. Van Hoesen, MD
The presenter will discuss some of the commonly encountered hazardous and/or venomous marine animals found in the wild, as well as the types of injuries they inflict and how to evaluate and manage them.

2:00 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.: “The Big Event: Behind the Scenes of Emergency Planning and Preparedness”
Faculty: Ricardo Martinez, MD, FACEP
The NFL Super Bowl represents a national icon, as well as a possible location of a terrorist target. This course will provide a clear framework and approach to planning for and managing all-hazards threats, including emerging diseases and natural disasters. Planning and implementation take over 18 months, working with health, public health, public safety, sports architects and multiple agencies across jurisdictions from local to federal levels. Emergency physicians are increasingly being asked to take leadership roles in planning for major events and the speakers will share the lessons of over 25 years of managing the increasingly complex health and safety aspects of Super Bowl and its related events.

Tuesday, October 2

10:30 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.: “Discharge or Disaster? Differentiating Between Harmless and Dangerous Causes of the Acute Red Eye”
Faculty: Megan Boysen Osborn, MD, FACEP
While many patients with acute red eye can be safely discharged home, others must be treated as emergencies and referred to ophthalmology. This session focuses on how five historical and physical examination features can distinguish between benign and sight-threatening diagnoses. Dr. Osborn will present cases of the acute red eye, focusing on six “can’t miss” diagnoses.

1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.:  “ACEP@50: Past, Present, and Future (James D. Mills, Jr. Memorial Lecture)”
Faculty: Kerry B. Broderick, MD, FACEP; Kevin M. Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP; Gregory L. Henry, MD, FACEP; Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP; Pamela P. Bensen, MD, MS, FACEP
This session focuses on 50 years of experience in the specialty of emergency medicine and how past challenges have been overcome. Using the collective wisdom of experience, the faculty will discuss the future and glean from the thoughts of seasoned leaders on how to solve some of the biggest challenges — including payment reform, burnout and the future of the specialty.

3:30 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.: “#InsuranceFail: Who's Covering These Surprise Bills?”
Faculty: Ed Gaines, JD, CCP
The issues surrounding out-of-network/balance billing debates have engulfed clinicians, politicians and consumers from Washington, DC, to Olympia, Washington. The increasingly narrow networks offered by the fewer and fewer health plans in the Affordable Care Act have exacerbated patient access issues along with the proliferation of high-deductible health plans where “covered services” used to mean insurance reimbursement and now means patient financial responsibility. This session will highlight the issues and strategies used to address existing and potential legislation and how ACEP has co-led efforts to get the “House of Medicine” and payers on the same page.

Wednesday, October 3

8:00 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.:  “Emerging Diseases: Zika and Future Friends!”
Faculty: Milana Trounce, MD
The world is a dangerous place and it seems to become more dangerous every year as new infectious diseases emerge, or old ones re-emerge. Most recently the Zika virus has become a significant public health threat. It and other emerging viruses generate a high level of concern and require emergency physicians to be knowledgeable about them. Dr. Trounce will help clarify facts, dispel myths and describe how these emerging infectious diseases may affect the emergency department and the public.

9:00 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.: “Battle Forged: How the Military Has Shaped Emergency Medicine”
Faculty: Torree M. McGowan, MD, FACEP
Military engagements have driven advancements in medical care for centuries. Major evolution in critical care transport, hemorrhage control, damage control resuscitation and tactical casualty management have transitioned from the military to civilian medical care. The session also will discuss the origins and development of the interventions that have changed trauma care.

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.: “The Great Debates: Obamacare vs. Trumpcare”
Faculty: L. Anthony Cirillo, MD, FACEP; Steven J. Stack, MD, former president of the American Medical Association
Barack versus Donald. This session will provide a forum for discussion among physicians from the red and blue sides of the emergency department using a debate format to contrast access to care and emergency department volumes, cost of care for patients, society, and emergency department physicians, and insurance options for our patients and our own families.

Thursday, October 4

8:30 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.:  “Making Medicaid Safe for the Safety Net”
Faculty: Jennifer D. H. Walthall, MD
Medicaid programs are increasingly experimenting with policies to address emergency department use that may run headlong into federal/state prudent layperson protections, e.g. screening/triage fees for “non-emergent” diagnoses. States are also placing limitations on non-physician practitioner reimbursements. The presenter will share a report from the ACEP/EDPMA Joint Task Force on Reimbursement Issues on these and other Medicaid issues.

9:30 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. “Medical Causes of Psychiatric Illnesses”
Faculty: Jacob Avila, MD
This course will help to identify common medical diseases that can masquerade as a primary psychiatric disease. Through case-based scenarios, Dr. Avila will provide the key findings that can help differentiate medical from psychiatric.

10:00 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. “The Opioid Crisis: Becoming Un-Jaded”
Faculty: Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP
The response to the opioid epidemic is in full force - including legislation, new rules, and additional restrictions. Emergency physicians will learn simple strategies to compassionately combat unnecessary deaths in communities.

Research Forum: Monday, October 1 – Wednesday, October 3

The Research Forum at ACEP18 is emergency medicine’s premier research event.  This year’s electronic showcase continues to be integrated throughout the annual meeting.  ACEP staff members will be in the Media Relations Office to assist reporters in arranging interviews with researchers.  Contact Steve Arnoff at

Exhibit Hall

At the heart of ACEP18 is a huge Exhibit Hall packed with the latest technologies, solutions, products and services from some of the most respected names in emergency medicine. More than 400 companies and organizations will be showcasing their contributions  October 1 – October 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. 

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For further information: Mike Baldyga | 202-370-9288 | | @EmergencyDocs