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My Experience Providing Medical Care at a NASCAR Race

Posted on Wed, Mar 29, 2017
My Experience Providing Medical Care at a NASCAR Race

By Cameron McCaig, MD

I love being an emergency physician and I love motorsports. I never expected to combine two of my passions.

AMR was recently named the official emergency medical services partner of NASCAR. AMR now provides on-track safety teams to respond to incidents during all NASCAR race weekends. Through the partnership, Envision Healthcare clinicians provide initial assessment, treatment and transfer services trackside, as needed, in the event of a crash.

I recently had the opportunity to serve as a track physician on February 18 and 19 during the time trials and races leading up to the Daytona 500. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to cross another item off my bucket list!

After a thorough orientation to the track and the medical team’s responsibilities, I was paired up with two AMR paramedics in a chase truck and was given a helmet and fire suit like the drivers wear. While there was a lot of downtime during the two days of racing, it was exciting just to hear the sound of the cars’ engines as they hit the banking in each turn.

NASCAR has committed to a focus on evaluation and management of concussion. A newly revised consensus approach to managing concussion was rolled out at the Daytona 500 race. The organization has committed to having an experienced provider available on the track at all times, and every driver who is in a crash must be examined by a physician. When there was a crash on the track, we were immediately deployed to the scene, sometimes even as the cars were still skidding.

There were a few minor crashes during the day, and a large nine-car crash Saturday night during the Clash, a non-NASCAR racing event. During the time trials on Sunday, we responded to incidents involving drivers Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson, who has won a record-tying seven championship titles in the sport. When Johnson dropped the netting down in the window of his car, the signal to medical staff that he was OK, I truly understood the importance of having trained medical staff on track; this can be a very dangerous sport.

Since this is a new partnership, I didn’t know what to expect. I was part-medical doctor, part-fan and part-awestruck student. I give a lot of credit to the fire rescue personnel who graciously took us under their wings and showed us the ropes. It was fascinating to watch the scope of the operation, and the AMR and NASCAR teams were very supportive.

As a member of Envision Healthcare’s physician travel team, I am credentialed in 10 states, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to provide my services at the Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis!

Cameron McCaig, MD, is an emergency physician with Envision Healthcare’s physician travel team. He has been with the company for five years.
 

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Featured Clinician: Michael Barnum, MD, FACEP

Posted on Thu, Sep 17, 2015
Featured Clinician: Michael Barnum, MD, FACEP

Hollywood’s Las Vegas is all about gambling, cocktails, showgirls and a “devil may care” attitude. But for Michael Barnum, MD, FACEP, the bright lights and 24/7 energy of the city is an apt backdrop for his true passion: changing the way medical care is delivered in Vegas – and beyond.

Dr. Barnum wears many hats: he’s the Medical Director of Las Vegas operations for Evolution Healthcare, EmCare’s sister company specializing in the care and management of patients with complex cases in the home and alternate settings. He’s the Assistant Medical Director of AMR’s Las Vegas operations, and is the Assistant Medical Director of the Emergency Department of Valley Hospital Medical Center, also in Vegas. He, too, is “on” nearly 24/7!

Using his relationships within the local medical community, he’s working to advance Envision Healthcare’s goal of developing a provider network to coordinate care no matter where or when a patient’s needs occur.

“While many have talked about a true continuum that would serve patients with exactly the right care at the right time at the right place, it’s a daunting task that has never really been done before,” a peer explains. “The Las Vegas market is our first truly integrated opportunity, and thanks to the vision and leadership of Mike Barnum, patients are cared for through every phase of their unplanned medical care.”

Dr. Barnum’s understanding of each component of the continuum of care and his willingness to try new delivery models is allowing unprecedented teamwork throughout the Las Vegas Valley. It’s his “pioneering spirit” that has enabled this diverse team to come together to produce outstanding results, according to his peers.

Despite his many management responsibilities within multiple organizations, Dr. Barnum still takes his job as physician seriously, going above and beyond every day for his patients. In fact, when a patient was discharged after joint replacement surgery and couldn’t fill her prescription for pain medication, Dr. Barnum drove to six pharmacies to find the proper medication.

Board-certified in both emergency medicine and emergency medical services, Dr. Barnum shares his love for the art and science of EMS on his popular “VegasEMSDoctor” podcast series, helping train the next generation of pre-hospital clinicians. His enthusiasm and excitement are contagious.

His peers say that he’s just as comfortable on the streets of Las Vegas at 2 a.m. as he is in a hospital board room discussing practice innovations. He is an effective strategic and operational leader who is collaborative and creative – a passionate combination that isn’t just staying in Vegas.

Dr. Barnum received a bachelor’s degree from University of California, San Diego, and attended University of Pennsylvania’s post-baccalaureate pre-medical program in Philadelphia before earning his medical degree from Temple University’s School of Medicine, also in Philadelphia. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at University of California Davis Medical Center, Sacramento. He is a past-president of the Nevada chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has a background in firefighting and was a fire department training officer. He worked as an EMT in both field and emergency department positions and holds certificates in Swift Water Rescue and Vertical Rescue. Dr. Barnum also is a pilot and an Eagle Scout.

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