Ohio Newspaper Interviews new ACEP President

But they got the name of the organization wrong…

Akron doctor leads national ER group

Disaster preparedness among major issues

By Cheryl Powell
Beacon Journal medical writer

An Akron doctor who has dedicated a quarter of a century to handling local emergencies now is tackling health-care crises on a national level.

Dr. Brian F. Keaton, an emergency medicine doctor in Akron’s Summa Health System, recently started a one-year term as president of the American Academy of Emergency Physicians, a national nonprofit group.

He takes the helm at a time when issues such as emergency-room overcrowding, disaster preparedness and the growing number of uninsured are grabbing national attention.

Q: What are your responsibilities as president of the American Academy of Emergency Physicians?

Heh.  It’s the American College of Emergency Physicians (in which I am a proud Fellow).

And, I think I might like this guy:

Q: What tips would you give for patients for best utilizing emergency rooms?

A: The first thing you want to do is not need to come here. Preventive care, common sense and following the treatment plan that has been agreed upon by you and your primary-care physician can keep you healthier and eliminate the need for you to be here. If you find that you’re suddenly ill or injured, then we’re open 24-seven, 365. But we rather you not have to come here.

If you do come in, there are certain things you need to bring with you. Bring your list of medicines, or the bottles. Bring your list of allergies. Don’t make the assumption that I have those. Bring your list of doctors and their contact information, especially if you’re from out of town…. If you have a list of medical problems, you want to bring it with you.

When you come into the department, you need to be straightforward in terms of your complaint. We have people who come in that minimize their complaint, and they tend not to get the attention they need. We have people who come in who overplay their complaint, thinking it will get them taken care of quicker — and it may, but it makes it a lot tougher to make the diagnosis and provide the appropriate treatment.

I like a straight-talker.