Interview With Dr. William Shyy

By: Guest Author | Posted on: May 15, 2017

This article was originally published on by Kaitlin Parks. View the original article by clicking here.

dr.-william-shyy, UCSF, HREM, HREM17Dr. William Shyy, MD Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine UC San Francisco

You’ll be leading the cadaver workshop following the High Risk EM conference hosted by UCSF at Hotel Nikko. What special challenges does organizing a sophisticated lab such as this entail?

The most challenging aspects of organizing an advanced lab are the coordination of great instructors and the logistics of the cadavers and medical equipment. We have to maintain a pool of practiced and proven teachers as it takes very special instructors to be able to adjust their teaching to the breadth of learners that we see in large, national courses like ours. The complexity of coordinating the teachers, learners, and vendors/medical equipment is the hardest and most interesting aspect of leading the lab. 

In your experience is there a specific group of physicians, career wise, you would most strongly recommend this lab for?

While the lab is very educational for all practicing emergency physicians and acute care providers, I think it is most beneficial for practitioners who are mid or late career. These practitioners may need refreshers with rare procedures like lateral canthotomies or thoracostomies, or extra hands-on practice with new modalities like diagnostic and procedural ultrasound on live models and simulators.

What do you find the most rewarding aspect of teaching this hands-on lab?

Emergency medicine is a very procedural field of medicine, and there are always new procedures and techniques that are evolving. Seeing learners’ faces light up as they become comfortable with an unfamiliar technique like an ultrasound-guided nerve block or watching their hands become more fluid as they practice placing central line is the most rewarding aspect of teaching in the lab. The goal is to make sure every learner is comfortable and proficient in the many procedures that are within our scope of practice.

Of the skills participants will get a chance to practice which ones do you feel are most important and why?

The most helpful skills in this lab will be rare emergent procedures like a lateral canthotomy or a thoracotomy. Emergency physicians are expected to be able to do these procedures at any given time, but they are so rare it can be difficult for practitioners to maintain your comfort and skills in these skills. It is also very helpful for our learners to learn new uses of diagnostic and procedural ultrasound in a lab that is focused on hands-on learning.

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