Annual scientific meeting

The Art and Science of Emergency Medicine

Vita brevis,
ars longa,
occasio praeceps,
experimentum periculosum,
iudicium difficile.

Life is short,
art long,
opportunity fleeting,
experience perilous,
and decision difficult.


Participate at ACEM 2012

We encourage all delegates to contribute to the ASM. You can get involved with the Interactive Serpent Arts Project, submit questions for the Q&A Panel 'It's all getting out of hand' hosted by ABC's Tony Jones and tweet your comments and observations with #ACEM2012 before, during and after the meeting.



Hippocrates could well have been referring to the practice of emergency medicine with this aphorism from over 2000 years ago. Join us in Hobart in November 2012 as we explore the links between art and science at the 29th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

If we keep doing things the same way we’ve always done them, then we’ll just keep getting the same results. In a rapidly changing world the only way we can prepare ourselves for an uncertain future is by being creative and using our imagination. How can we imagine a future world with machines and techniques that don’t yet exist if we aren’t creative? Honestly, how many of you saw the iPhone and iPad coming? Stanley Kubrick, you’re excused.

Science provides us with the framework around which we operate. But by itself it can be cold and can lose context. Simply understanding the evidence and doing research often for research's sake alone is not enough.

Art adds something else. Through art we can engage and empathise, and through that we achieve a true understanding. This is our challenge as we attempt to understand the relationship between the two. So often we just consider the science, and for that, without even realising it sometimes, we are poorer. We need the art. But art by itself is not enough - we need the science as the foundation of what we do. Art in medicine without the support of science is quackery.

Join with me as we attempt to understand both the art and the science of emergency medicine and by doing so achieve a better understanding of what it is we actually do.

A/Prof Geoff Couser
ACEM 2012 Convenor

Organising Committee

The scientific, social and partnership programs were developed by A/Prof Geoff Couser with assistance from the committee members.

  • A/Prof Geoff Couser - Convenor
  • Dr Farida Khawaja and Sara Wright - Artistic program
  • Dr Terry Brown - Peer review process
  • Dr Brian Doyle - Workshop coordination
  • Dr Marielle Ruigrok
  • Dr Kate Field
  • Dr Rod Franks
  • Dr Domhnall Brannigan
  • A/Prof James Kwan - ACEM scientific committee rep.

Special thanks to Penny Archer, Ben Thiessen and all the team at Conference Design.

Special thanks to MONA for inspiring us and to the Sir Sidney Nolan Trust for granting us permission to use the imagery of his incredible work "Snake".

Special thanks to Waji!

App development by secretlab.

Who Should Attend ACEM 2012?

  • Emergency physicians
  • Emergency registrars
  • Career medical officers
  • Nursing staff
  • Rural and remote practitioners
  • Paramedics
  • Industry specialists
  • Emergency nurse practitioners
  • Medical students
  • Allied health practitioners
  • Health administrators
  • Health policy makers

Australasian College for Emergency Medicine

The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) is an incorporated educational institution whose prime objective is the training and examination of specialist emergency physicians for Australia and New Zealand and the ongoing Maintenance of Professional Standards of the Fellows.

ACEM has a vital interest in the quality of emergency medical care provided to the community and therefore has a wide rangeof subsidiary objectives relating to emergency department accreditation, policies and standards for the emergency medical system, teaching and research, publication, and those aspects of the medico political framework that have a direct impact on health outcomes for emergency patients.



Latest Information

Full Scientific Program

The full scientific program is available online. Click here to view.

The App

The app is coming! With the support of NEHTA we have developed an app that is due to released in iTunes store on Monday.

Online Registration

Click here for further information and to register online.

Interactive Serpent Arts Project

To explore the theme “The Art and Science of Emergency Medicine” the organizing committee is developing an interactive project showcasing YOUR hidden talents to help promote discussion and debate. Click here to find out how to participate.

Emergency Care Institute Evidence into Action Best Paper

Follow Us on Twitter


Museum of Old and New Art

The ACEM ASM program will include a visit to the Museum of Old and New Art, MONA, described by owner David Walsh as "a subversive adult Disneyland". MONA is a museum of ancient, modern and contemporary art.

MONA Preview > Mona Slide Show

Important Dates