American University of Beirut

​History of Emergency Medicine in Lebanon


Over the last decade, important historical milestones were achieved in the advancement of emergency medicine as a field across Lebanon. In 2003, a core group of Lebanese practicing emergency physicians established the Lebanese Society of Emergency Medicine (LSEM) to promote such a service and improve the delivery of emergency medical care across the country.  In 2005, LSEM led by AUB faculty secured the addition of emergency medicine as one of the specialties that our National Social Security Fund (NNSF) recognizes. More recently, and after nearly seven years of lobbying, champions of Emergency Medicine, through the support of the Lebanese Order of Physicians (LOP), the American University of Beirut (AUB), and  community leaders succeeded in securing the right of Emergency Department (ED) patients to be cared for by emergency specialists who can best serve their needs.

History of Emergency Medicine at AUBMC

In 2007,  the American University of Beirut (AUB), a leading academic institution in Lebanon and the region, established the first academic Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) in Lebanon with Dr. Amin Kazzi as the founding Chairperson. New processes and standards for care were introduced including electronic order entry, patient tracking and policies and procedures governing triage, access to care and medical screening assessment standardization. Subsequently, the DEM went on to transform the care of patients with acute emergencies by ensuring attending level care for all ED patients, introducing a rigorous Peer Review Process and redesigning its processes and workflow to focus on quality and safety of ED patients.

History of Emergency Medicine Education at AUBMC

In 2012, the DEM at AUBMC established the first properly proctored and supervised residency program in Lebanon. The first class of 4 residents started in July 2012 and completed their training in June 2016. In 2015, the EM residency program became one of the first programs at AUBMC to receive accreditation by American Council of Graduate Medical Education-International. It has also received Arab Board accreditation. 

In addition, in 2012, the DEM at AUBMC established the first Emergency Medicine Clerkship for medical students in Lebanon. This clerkship has since become one of the most highly evaluated learning experiences for medical students at AUBMC and routinely hosts visiting students from Lebanon and the region. 

History of Toxicology Care at AUBMC 

In 2015, AUBMC DEM established the first Clinical Toxicology service in Lebanon through a collaboration with Emergency Medicine Medical Toxicology Section at Emory University. This service brings the most advanced care, resources and expertise to AUBMC patients presenting with acute poisonings. Moreover, the Toxicology service faculty offer continued medical education to our residents and community through workshops, residency program curriculum delivery and the Annual Clinical Updates in EM conference.

Continuing Medical Education in Emergency Medicine 

In 2015, the DEM launched the first Annual Clinical Updates in EM Conference that was aimed at providing training and education in emergency medicine to EM practitioners around the country. As the only academic dep artment of Emergency Medicine in the country, the DEM plays an important role in leading EM education efforts locally and ensuring that EM providers have a local resource for continuing medical education. ​

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