Doctors worldwide gather online to discuss treatments for trauma

Trauma experts worldwide to gather online

Dr. Alan Flake, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dr. Ponsky, right, at a GlobalCastMD conference in 2012.


There is a sad but universal truth that children, no matter where they live in the world, are always at risk for injury.

A March 21 GlobalCastMD pediatric trauma symposium – an interactive television show produced at Akron Children’s Hospital and streamed live via the Internet – will bring together upwards of 800 pediatric surgeons and other specialists to share ideas on how to best treat injured children. There will be a strong focus on children injured by blasts and hospital preparedness for mass casualties.

“The information we exchange Thursday could very well save a child’s life on Friday,” said Todd Ponsky, M.D., a pediatric surgeon at Akron Children’s and founder of GlobalCastMD. “It’s happened at our previous conferences and, once again, we will have a number of doctors joining us from third world countries. In some parts of the world, doctors have to rely on textbooks that are 10 years old. Our format removes the challenges of time, distance and travel expense and gives everyone access to key opinion leaders as long as they have a computer in their home or office.”

Thursday’s conference, entitled “Pediatric Trauma II: The Global Burden of Injury to Children: How I Do It” will be moderated by Dr. Ponsky, as well as trauma surgeon Wayne Meredith, MD, of Wake Forest University and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, and Martin Eichelberger, MD, a pediatric surgeon at George Washington University and Children’s National Medical Center.

They will facilitate the discussion from a studio at Akron Children’s, while an additional 14-member faculty will be joining in online from as far as England and France to present research, new techniques and case studies. Hundreds of more participants – most likely representing all seven continents - will be following along on their computers and are able to text or call in questions.

“It’s not a webinar,” noted Dr. Ponsky. “This format allows for three-way learning. The presenters teach and participants can ask questions. Participants can chat amongst themselves. It’s much more engaging.”

Several faculty members have experience treating children injured in land mines and terrorist attacks. A good number have military medical experience.

Since starting GlobalCastMD in 2011, Dr. Ponsky has learned much from colleagues he would not normally have the opportunity to meet in person at medical conferences in the United States.

“Geography is no longer an issue in bringing the world together to learn,” Dr. Ponsky said.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma. Follow the discussion on Twitter at @globalcastmd using the hashtag #pedstrauma2013.

Trauma experts worldwide to gather online

Dr. Todd Ponsky is a pediatric surgeon at Akron Children's Hospital

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