Parzival’s iClickEM: Our Opportunity to Improve Emergency Medicine

On Monday, December 9th, Parzival will be releasing 1,000 access codes to the closed beta version of it’s EM-specific search engine, iClickEM.  

iClickEM is an opportunity to improve the way we as an EM community share knowledge.

It is a tool created for you, and the content is made by you: the site will host all EM knowledge on the entirety of the Internet that is relevant to the EM provider.  This knowledge will be delivered by powerful artificial intelligence which grows smarter with every use.  The more EM physicians who use it, the better the results will become.  Each time you and your colleagues use iClickEM, you will help one another find more relevant results to your search queries.

In order to make real change, I’ve teamed up with an incredibly talented team to create a company called Parzival.  Our members share a vision and passion that we can improve the way medical education is delivered.

Parzival has created specialized search engines for every field of medicine.  We will start with what I know best, and what I love most - Emergency Medicine.  We’ve spent a lot of talent, time and money on the production of iClickEM, but we promise, iClickEM will always be free to the user.

In this vein, we will be releasing 1,000 access codes to the closed beta version on Monday, December 9th, 2013.  If you want a code, please sign up at, and you will be issued a code to become part of Parzival’s iClickEM beta community.  

As a beta member, your opinions and suggestions will be invaluable toward making this product work for all of us.  If you encounter a bug, an error message, or have a thought on how to make iClickEM work better for you and your colleagues, use the suggestion box provided on the site.  Again, your opinion will help make the product better for all of us.

To me, Parzival and iClickEM represent an opportunity to change our world for the better.  If this experiment works, EM will lead medicine in harnessing the power of the Internet to be better at patient care, more efficient at our professional pursuits, and more creative with our teaching of one another.  Our community will share knowledge more efficiently than any other in the world.

I look forward to changing our world together,

Timothy C. Peck, MD


The Council of Residency Directors (CORD) in Emergency Medicine is next week in Denver.  This year's hot-button topic is the Milestones, the foundation of a new outcomes-based resident evaluation process.

I'll be presenting a research abstract called, "How Do Practicing Emergency Attendings Self-Evaluate on the Emergency Medicine Milestones?" at the Milestones Bootcamp session on March 6th.  It is a study which attempts to begin the process of independently validating the milestones.

As part of its Next Accreditation System, the ACGME commissioned committees to draft, endorse, and implement specialty specific milestones.  For EM, what ensued was a collaborative step wise process to create milestones which centered around the clear definition of what would be come to be known as Level 4, the minimum standard of competency needed to graduate residency and practice emergency medicine successfully.  The EM milestones will be used to track resident progress by residency programs beginning in the 2013 academic year. 

We have begun to attempt validation of the ACGME EM Milestones.  We will be recruiting representatives from residencies across the country to partner with us to explore the creation of a multicenter effort to continue to study the Milestones.  We will have a sign up after the talk on March 6th as well as at the poster session.

If you're interested in validating the milestones, post a comment or let's meet at CORD.


Timothy Peck

Web 3.0

Many in academic medicine have not yet accepted the values of the social media revolution.  Many tell me that it is clumsy, disjointed, and the dilution of information makes that information less valuable.  Although my instinct is to be defensive of this medium in which I function, I unfortunately cannot disagree with these sentiments.

The other day I went to see Samuel Shem speak.  For those of you not familiar, he is the author of House of God which was a pivotal tell all semi-fiction novel about his intern year at Beth Israel in Boston.    

He spoke in an auditorium at Beth Israel-Deaconess, and it was the first time he had set foot on campus since he had written the book.  He was received with a large applause, and his talk was both funny and poignant - much like the book.

One theme he spoke of was loneliness: the demands of residency force you to sometimes mentally remove yourself from difficult situations in order to continue to meet your responsibilities.  You may have just had an unsuccessful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest patient, and then in the next room you may have someone who is asking for Tylenol for their sprained ankle - this ebb and flow of human emotion can cause a functional isolation from your patients and your peers.  Surrounded by people, it is still possible to be lonely.

The Association of American Medical College (AAMC) has a blog called "Wing of Zock," which is a reference to House of God.  The scope of the blog is to encourage open communication among those in the academic medicine community.

When I first saw the name of this blog, I did not completely understand the logic behind the name.

But as I listened to Dr. Shem speak, I thought of the role of social media and mobile technology in my life.  I live in Boston now, but I am in constant virtual contact with my friends and family in New York.  Through Web 2.0 resources like Twitter, and Facebook, and GMEP, and G+,  I'm in constant virtual contact with  the medical community at large around the world.  It has attempted to solve my loneliness - yet it has not been entirely successful.

Web 1.0 was an internet that spoke to us.  It consisted of pages of information that told us what we could just have found in books, but made it easily accessible.  Web 2.0 is an internet in which we can have conversations with one another and with those who host websites - information is no longer a one-way valve.

Web 2.0 is still in it's adolescence; this means it is disjointed.  The information is erratically thrown about and moderation and patience is often sacrificed for volume and speed.  But social media will grow up; it has the power to connect us in a novel manner that has never before existed in the history of our world.  We should not turn away from the medium because it is imperfect, but instead work to mold it into it's adult form in which it can have sound structure.

Web 3.0 will be an internet in which the internet itself has the ability to have directed and organized conversation with you, it's user.  It will have the ability to address your questions with logical answers rather than pages of sites that match your search engine query.  The internet will be able to host real-time conversations and will not only give you facts, but also challenge you to provide answers.  It will be able to debate you, challenge your ideas, teach you things in real time, help you with tasks while you're performing them.  It will get to know you.  And most invitingly, it will perform these functions with you in community with other humans.  Web 3.0 will not be an alternative to our physicality but rather facilitate it.  Web 3.0 will attempt to dissolve our loneliness.

To those who refuse to embrace social media: perhaps you can keep an open mind while we all give it a chance to grow up.