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EMUGs End of Year Chairperson's Address

By Dr Alastair MacLean - EMUGs Central Council Chairperson

It is the end of another year and perhaps there was a return to normalcy amidst our hectic lives. I hope you all get a chance for some rest and time with family (whanau) and friends in the festive season.

The end of the year allows reflections on what we have achieved and allows us to look forward to what is to come in the next year. Coming from the Northern Hemisphere this fits with the traditional hibernation feel of a cold December (outside of the ED). Here however, December feels more pent up potential and getting ready for summer.

It is hard to believe how much has been achieved in 12 months, made more impressive with all the uncertainties of lockdowns and illness.

This year EMUGs has taken over the running of Echo Guided Life Support (EGLS) in New Zealand from Dr Gabby King and begun workshops in Australia and Aotearoa with courses run in Sydney, Waiheke and Perth. Other EMUGs workshops have been run in Melbourne, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide. The highly successful webinars, online discussions and POCUS Management course have continued. Inspiring Collab Labs in Queenstown and at the SONIC Conference in Noosa were held. I would highly recommend attending one of our events for networking and borrowing practical solutions for POCUS education that we all face.

SONIC in Noosa was our first return to a conference that both Aussies and Kiwis could attend since 2019 and the organising team presented an amazing conference. If you missed it it is available to POCUS Subscribers and is worth visiting the content for a first, or second, time. It was a great time to put faces to people I have only seen on Zoom. Everyone looked much better outside of the screen!

Our Management Team of Romy, Stacey and Cian have continued to be a powerhouse in ensuring the successful running of all our events and overall governance of EMUGs. Romy has stepped into the big shoes that Stacey has created with great success. Both make being organised and herding the cats that are we ED POCUS enthusiasts look so easy and Cian ensures our digital profile looks great. The three of them do a tonne of work behind the scenes and continue to help us learn and adapt to whatever is thrown at us.

So what is in store in 2023? We go forward having had a long think about what we are about and how we can best advocate for POCUS use and development in our clinical work. Stacey spent much time talking to many of our members and distilling our views, hopes, dreams and realities into a coherent strategy. At its core, our updated vision, purpose and cause statements give us a touchstone for where we are going. Check these out on the EMUGs webpage if you haven’t already. We are currently working on an EMUGs advocacy statement.

In terms of events for next year, we have already locked in a Nerve Block Workshop in the Cadaver Lab in Dunedin, a Proctored Scanning Day, Medical Student Event and multiple EGLS Courses; in Gosford, Auckland and Brisbane all by May! Hopefully I will get to share a beer and stories with you in Queenstown at SONIC.

On the Central Council this year we have welcomed some new and enthusiastic faces in Lynne Johnson, Jo Douglas and Gabby King and saw some of the original EMUGs visionaries step down from the Council. Carolynne Cormack, Allan Whitehead and Brian O’Connell have been pivotal in promoting and pushing POCUS forward and in founding EMUGS. I would like to take this chance on behalf of the Central Council to say thank you for your work. Luke Philips has stepped down as chair, a role he has carried out since the Central Council's inception. He has been responsible for many EMUGs initiatives including the POCUS Passport. I too have giant shoes to fill.

This year, as with every year, our sponsors make sure that our events are affordable and that EMUGs is able to continue to work towards our vision. Thank you to Sonosite, GE, Tristel, Butterfly and Mindray for sponsoring and supporting us this year. EMUGS would not be what it is with our sponsors.

Last but not least, the biggest thank you is to all of you, volunteers, POCUS enthusiasts and fabulous people who comment or question online, buy tickets and attend events, teach and pass on your wisdom. Without you EMUGS would not exist. If you have ever wondered how to get more involved then either get in touch with me or Romy ( or a local EMUGs enthusiast for more information. The greatest things about EMUGS are the people involved and their passion for POCUS.

On behalf of our Management Team and Central Council Board of Directors I wish you all the best for the holiday season and 2023. I hope you, family and ED’s remain COVID free and that I get to catch up with you at SONIC in Queenstown.

Alastair MacLean


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