Date: July 13th, 2017

Guest Skeptic: Dr. Ian Stiell is Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ottawa. He is internationally recognized for his research in emergency medicine with a focus on the development of clinical decision rules. Ian is best known for the development of the Ottawa Ankle Rules and Canadian C-Spine Rule, and as the Principal Investigator for the landmark OPALS Studies for pre-hospital care.

Legends of Emergency Medicine: This is the forth episode in the summer series of SGEM Xtras called Legends of Emergency Medicine. These episodes highlight some of the pioneers and leaders of our specialty.  I hope these episodes will give the next generation of emergency physicians access to some super stars in our field via social media.

The format of the show will be similar. We will start by finding out some a non-medical thing about the legend: What song they picked as their music for the episode and why?  Then we will tell the back story of how we first met. The more formal part of the episode asks the legend five questions. Listen to the podcast on iTunes to hear their responses.

Five Questions for Ian:

Dr. Ian Stiell

Dr. Ian Stiell

  1. What is the biggest positive change you have seen in emergency medicine over your career?
  2. What is the biggest negative change you have seen in emergency medicine over your career?
  3. What contribution to emergency medicine that you made are you most proud of so far?
  4. What advice would you give to someone who is interested going into emergency medicine?
  5. How do you picture emergency medicine looking in the next ten years?

Theme Music: Each legend was asked to pick theme music for their episode and explain why they picked that particular song. Ian picked Emergency by Icona Pop.

SGEM Episodes of Ian’s Research: We have reviewed a number of Ian’s published research on the SGEM.

Ian Stiell and Ken Milne Rule or Tool?

Ian Stiell and Ken Milne
Rule or Tool?

  • SGEM#3: To X-ray or not to X-ray (Ottawa Ankle Rules)
  • SGEM#5: Does Johnny “kneed” an X-ray? (Ottawa Knee Rules)
  • SGEM#48: Thunderstruck (Subarachnoid Hemorrhage)
  • SGEM#64: Classic EM Papers (OPALS Study)
  • SGEM#88: Shock Through the Heart (Ottawa Aggressive Atrial Fibrillation Protocol)
  • SGEM#108: O Canada- Canadian CT Head Rule for Patients with Minor Head Injury
  • SGEM#170: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart – Ottawa Heart Failure Risk Scale

Ottawa Rules App

Ottawa Rules Application: You can get many of the clinical decision instruments on a free app from the iTunes store. “The Ottawa Rules are a set of clinical decision rules developed by Dr. Ian Stiell and his research team at The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa. The rules have been demonstrated to decrease unnecessary diagnostic imaging and emergency room wait times which enhances patient comfort and reduces health care costs.”

Other Legends of Emergency Medicine:

  • Andrew (Professor BEEM) Worster
  • Diane (Brick House) Birnbaumer
  • Joseph (#FOAMed Godfather) Lex

don_t_panic_buttonI hope you enjoy this summer SGEM Xtra series of podcasts. Don’t Panic – The SGEM will be back in the fall for Season#6. You can expect more critical appraisals of recent publications trying to cut the knowledge translation window down from over ten years to less than one year using the power of social media. The ultimate goal of the SGEM is for patients to get the best care based on the best evidence.


Remember to be skeptical of anything you learn, even if you heard it on the Skeptics’ Guide to Emergency medicine.

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