SMACC Day 3 Afternoon Sessions: St Emlyn’s

It’s the final SMACCdown here at Sydney, and we couldn’t be more sad. We’ve seen so many old friends, made so many new ones and had a chance to reconnect with colleagues and enhance our own learning on a huge level.

All the talks at SMACC have been stellar, and certainly this last session was no exception. Here are the main learning messages from the afternoon of day 3.

Learning and Culture: Technology for Learning

The afternoon started off with a panel chaired by Roger Harris on how data is being used at the moment – is it being used for you or against you? There has obviously been a huge drive to control data after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and consumers are becoming a bit more savvy with how their data is used and controlled, but is this something that affects us in medicine?

Vic Brazil gave an absolute masterclass on presentation in her talk about how we use technology, and how technology uses us. She encouraged us to think much more about the ways we use technology to gain information, and how easily it is to get distracted by cat videos and endless Twitter scrolling whilst doing so. This is definitely one to watch out for when videos are released in the future.

After this, Laura Duggan spoke on can’t intubate, can’t oxygenate situations, and how The Airway App she created has enabled clinicians from around the world to upload anonymous information on front of neck access they have performed on patients. This has allowed her to get data on things such as method of access, failure rates, as well as providing a safe place for comments on how the procedure went. If you work in an environment where you may have to perform FONA in an emergency, download this app.

Resa Lewiss channelled memories from her past which have informed her practice in using and teaching ultrasound. No-one can force you to learn ultrasound, so it’s crucial to go out there and proactively seek out learning and embrace the probe.

Looking Inward, Moving Forward

Chris Nickson, one of the original founders of SMACC, shared his difficult stories in order to allow the audience to get in the mindset to React, Accept, Reset, and Engage for the final SMACCrare session. Everyone was on their feet doing the RARE dance and I’m sure there will be many videos doing the rounds on Twitter!

Pacific Island Discs

We heard from Jess Morten on her journey after a severe low point in her life. She talked passionately about challenging stigma as healthcare professionals in the workplace against patients who are there with mental health problems. A powerful 5 minutes and an important message for us all.

Science and Innovation: Innovations Coming to the Bedside

Jesse Spurr is a great friend to us here at St Emlyn’s. As well as being a fantastic nurse, he’s also a renowned educationalist. His talk on the use of virtual reality and its use in patient rehabilitation and pain management gave us some good food for thought in how we can use gaming technology to benefit our patients.

Not one to miss out on SMACC, the lovely Rick Body was last up, giving a talk on tomorrow’s medicine today. In the future, will artificial intelligence free up clinicians from repetitive tasks that take away so much of our time from actually being clinicians?

At the end of the day, a fantastic visual round up of SMACC through the ages showed just how much the conference has evolved and progressed since the first conference in 2013, before a final goodbye to the whole of our SMACC family from Oli and Roger.

Final Thoughts

It’s certainly been an emotional SMACC as the last ever, and it was so wonderful to be back in Sydney. Here at St Emlyn’s we’ve all been to at least one SMACC conference and some of us have even been to all of them. It’s been a huge privilege to be involved, whether on the organising committee, as speakers, or as attendees. SMACC has certainly influenced our practice and changed our lives, as well as undoubtedly the lives of our patients.

We’re hugely grateful to Roger Harris, Oli Flower, and Chris Nickson for the work they’ve done to further medical education through SMACC and can’t wait to see how Roger and Oli’s next project goes in the form of CODA. We’ll certainly be hoping to get involved.

Thanks to the whole organising team for a fantastic SMACC Sydney 2019. From all of us here at St Emlyn’s, a safe travel home, and we can’t wait to see you again soon.



Cite this article as: Chris Gray, "SMACC Day 3 Afternoon Sessions: St Emlyn’s," in St.Emlyn's, March 29, 2019,

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