I caught up with Dr Roger Dickerson who will be presenting a keynote at the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa’s annual meeting in October 2017. Roger is a man of many talents. Not only is he a specialist emergency physician and intensivist, but he is also the head of the emergency centre at New Somerset hospital in Cape Town, senior lecturer with the division of emergency medicine at the University of Cape Town, the president of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa, as well as the president of the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa amongst other accomplishments.
I asked Roger a few questions about his upcoming keynote.
What are the key messages of your talk?
I reflect on the journey taken by many in emergency medicine, and the difficult balancing act between the rigours of providing quality emergency care in a resource constrained environment and the preservation of individual humanity.
In an environment where emergency medicine is the new kid on the block, we are starting to see the impact of this difficult balancing act on trainees and specialists.
I reflect on my own journey, and that of those around me, all striving to achieve the elusive balance between work and life.
Why is this important?
Internationally – the difficulties in balancing life with work in emergency care are all too apparent. Burnout is leading to serious health difficulties and many leaving the profession.
We are facing a tsunami – and the water is already up to our knees. Some will succumb to the surge and others will surf the wave. Which will be your destiny?
How does this message relate to Africa?
On the African continent, emergency care is limited, and the few providers face intense pressures in creating programmes and platforms to provide emergency care. This places inordinate pressures on individuals and those around them. We need every single hand on deck – and thus we need to ensure that the carers are cared for – so that they can care for others.
Join us for the whole conference next week or just come for the day. Details at emssa2017.co.za/