2020-2021 SAEM PRESIDENT-ELECT CANDIDATE STATEMENTS
Candidate statements are listed in alphabetical order.Amy H. Kaji, MD, PhD
Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
I obtained my undergraduate degree at Harvard College and my medical degree at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After two years as a categorical general surgery resident at the University of Chicago, I completed my emergency residency training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. My fellowship training was in research and disaster medicine, during which time I obtained an MPH and PhD in epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health. I have been heavily involved with SAEM since 2002 when I joined the SAEM Research Committee, where I served as a subcommittee chair to identify the NIH-funded investigators in our specialty. I have served on the editorial board for Academic Emergency Medicine and the steering committee of two consensus conferences: "The Science of Surge" and another on simulation. I have also served as the chair of the Membership Committee and as a member of the Nomination Committee and the SAEM Foundation Board. Prior to my current tenure as secretary-treasurer, I served as a member-at-large for the SAEM Board of Directors for six years. As a board member and secretary-treasurer, I have had the honor of acting as the board liaison to multiple SAEM committees and academies, including ADIEM, AWAEM, CDEM, AGEM, AAAEM, the Collaborations Task Force, the Finance Committee, and the Executive Committee.
I am running for the office of president-elect with the hope of giving back to an organization that has been instrumental for my growth as a leader and academician. Without the mentorship that I have received through my relationships with fellow SAEM members, as well as the opportunities to take on leadership positions, I would not have developed the confidence that I now have to speak out and pursue a leadership role at a major organization, such as SAEM. Over the last year under the leadership of President Dr. Martin and President-Elect Dr. Holmes, I believe we are successfully addressing the fractionation within our specialty, with in-fighting among our major organizations (e.g., CORD, ACEP, etc). Committees at each of the major organizations in our specialty often duplicate objectives and compete for the same resources. If elected, I would continue the work towards improving inter-organizational relationships by identifying common goals. As an example, we (AAEM, ACEP, ACOEP, AACEM, CDEM, CORD, EMRA, RAMS, RSA, RSO, and SAEM) came together as a specialty when we recently signed onto a joint letter to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) expressing our opposition to the Standardized Video Interview (SVI). I believe many other common problems are facing our specialty, such as questions about the workforce, which we can better tackle together, rather than individually, in silos. With our highest-ever membership numbers and a solid financial portfolio, SAEM is now on a trajectory of unprecedented growth. However, I believe that continuing to work with our sister organizations, rather than competing against them, will create the best future for our specialty.