26th Annual Scientific Assembly

Theme: All Voices Heard

This year’s theme is “All Voices Heard.” This means that whether you are a physician, a patient, or the public, your voice is important and is heard. As physicians we need to be stronger advocates for our patients, the public, and each other. At AAEM, we hear you.


We’ve heard what you have said about past conferences, and have made changes to AAEM20 programming to accommodate your requests. This year you will see:

  • More Breve Dulce talks – The afternoon of Tuesday, April 21st will be dedicated primarily to Breve Dulce talks located in a larger room with minimal other tracks running concurrently and will continue through Wednesday and Thursday. Thursday, April 23rd will be dedicated to one room only plenary and Breve Dulce talks.
  • Up-to-date literature discussions – New this year will be a literature review panel: “Meeting of the Minds” session where panels of experts will discuss recent controversial medical literature.
  • More Small Group Clinics – Small Group Clinics are back, and this year there are more than ever. Learn more here.
  • Fewer tracks – Past Scientific Assemblies have been chock full of education, and we heard that there were too many session choices and that physicians felt like they were missing out. This year we still have a ton of great education, and you won’t have to worry about missing anything. View the grid here.
  • More advocacy-related talks – Not only did we add more advocacy talks to programming this year, we also moved the Health Policy in Emergency Medicine (HPEM) Symposium to a pre-conference course so you can kick-off AAEM20 by learning how to use your voice to advocate at the local and national levels.
  • New voices – You wanted to hear new voices from rising stars in emergency medicine so this year we invited new voices and faces to speak while maintaining the expert education of seasoned favorites you’ve come to expect from AAEM. View our full speaker list here.

We’ve also heard what you have said about the practice and business of EM and have specific talks that address your concerns:

  • The Influx of Advanced Practice Providers: What is the Role of the Emergency Physician?
    Julie Vieth, MBChB FAAEM
    Monday, April 20, 2020 | 4:10pm-4:30pm (Phoenix A)

    This lecture will provide an overview of the scope of this issue, including training requirements for APP; discussion of several recent issues highlighted in the national press when APPs practice unsupervised and present options for utilizing a physician team-led approach in the treatment of our patients in the ED.
  • The Existential Threat to EM Right Now: If We Don't Take Control, Someone Else Will
    Jason Adler, MD FAAEM
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020|11:45am-12:05pm (Camelback AB)
    This talk will explore three merging phenomenons, reduction in public reimbursement, reduction in private reimbursement, and an expanding labor force, that together could threaten the economic health of our community.  Potential solutions will be discussed. 
  • Emergency Medicine at the Precipice
    Richard M. Pescatore II, DO FAAEM
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 2:30pm-2:50pm (Phoenix DE)
    This lecture will discuss the evolution of EM from presence only for life- and limb-threatening disease toward our role as "availabilists" simultaneously the front line and the safety net for healthcare. The speaker will beat back on the over-consulting and under-treating culture driven by medicolegal fear and CMG influence.
  • How to Get Involved in Advocacy
    Amish Mahendra Shah, MD FAAEM
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 5:20pm-5:40pm (Camelback AB)

    Arizona State Congressman and emergency physician Dr. Amish Shah shares practical tips and advice on how to get involved in advocacy at the state and local level, and how to get other physicians to get involved. 
  • The Joint Commission as Complicit in the Opioid Crisis
    Talcott Franklin
    Thursday, April 23, 2020 | 11:40am-12:00pm (Phoenix DE)
    Attend the final AAEM Scientific Assembly 2020 presentation by plaintiffs’ attorney Tal Franklin, who represents four West Virginia cities pursuing civil litigation against TJC for its culpability in causing and worsening the opiate epidemic in those cities.



We’ve heard our patients and this year our patient panel will be returning along with other patient-focused sessions. Be sure to attend:

  • Beyond He Said/She Said
    Maite A. Huis in 't Veld, MD FAAEM
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 1:30pm-1:50pm (Phoenix DE)
    Transgender patients face many health disparities and complications, yet they often fear coming to the ED because of previous negative experiences. This lecture focuses on how to best interact with this patient population.
  • Patient Satisfaction in EM
    Gus M. Garmel, MD FAAEM FACEP
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 1:30pm-1:50pm (Ahwatukee A)
    This lecture is focused on literature, evidence, and anecdotes to teach and improve patient satisfaction for EPs, RNs, faculty, and residents.
  • Sickle Cell Patient Panel
    Jack C. Perkins Jr., MD FAAEM
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 4:20pm-5:10pm (Phoenix DE)
    Come experience a truly unique learning format where the patient is the educator. We will have three patients with sickle cell disease along with their hematologist to provide their perspective on optimal care of the patient with sickle cell disease in the emergency department. In this session, moderated by two EM physicians with an interest in SCD, the patients will discuss their experiences with life-threatening sickle cell disease complications as well as barriers to care that they have encountered in the ED. Your perspective on 'optimal care' of sickle cell disease will be challenged when hearing from the patients themselves.



We’ve heard the public and the public wants social change. The public voice will be represented by our Keynote speaker, Thea James, MD as well as in other sessions which address topics such as #ThisIsOurLane and Social EM:

  • Keynote: The "Upstream" Transformation of Healthcare: Leveraging Emergency Medicine
    Thea L. James, MD
    Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 8:15am-9:00am (Phoenix DE)
    Population health disparities are a downstream effect of upstream causes. Using case examples, Dr. James will describe how emergency medicine can be leveraged to address the root causes of high cost and poor patient outcomes.
  • Our Lane: The Critical Role of Emergency Physicians in Advancing Public Health
    Joneigh S. Khaldun, MD MPH FAAEM
    Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 10:15am-11:00am  (Phoenix DE)
    Most of us went into medicine because we genuinely want to help people. While our individual reach may be limited, there are still things we as physicians can do to broadly improve the health of our patient population.
  • Social Emergency Medicine: "Not My Job" Doesn't Cut It in 2020
    Megan Healy, MD FAAEM
    Tuesday, April 21, 2020 | 9:30am-9:40am (Phoenix DE)
    This talk introduces the emerging field of social emergency medicine and describes why the ED is the perfect setting for population health and social determinants innovation. This is a paradigm-shifting talk meant to challenge the notion that social issues are “not our job” to address in the ED.