Surgeons worldwide gather online to discuss treatments for trauma

6:00 PM, Mar 21, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- On Thursday, Akron Children's Hospital was ground zero for GlobalCastMD pediatric trauma symposium, an interactive television show produced at Akron Children's Hospital and streamed live through the Internet.

More than 1,000 pediatric surgeons and other specialists from around the world shared ideas on how to best treat injured children.

They discussed children injured by bomb blasts and hospital preparedness for mass casualties with doctors from other countries who see terrorism almost daily.

"The information we exchanged Thursday could very well save a child's life on Friday," said Todd Ponsky, MD, 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. But our format removes the challenges of time, distance and travel expense and gives everyone access to the key opinion leaders as long as they have a computer in their home or office," Dr. Ponsky says.

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 moderated the event from a studio inside the hospital.

Participants -- representing all seven continents -- followed the presentations on their computers and were 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 them questions. Participants can chat amongst themselves. It's much more engaging."

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


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