Objective: To describe a programme catalyzing the development of emergency medicine in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Methods: Five emergency physicians rotated through a new position of Senior Lecturer in Emergency Medicine in the University of PNG during 2003. The position was established as a consequence of emergency physician input supported by AusAID in 2002.
Results: Fifth (final)-year medical students and medical officers in the Emergency Department at Port Moresby General Hospital undertook formal and bedside problem based learning. The first trainees for a Master of Medicine in Emergency Medicine programme were inducted and supported. Emergency department management was provided with specialist input. Research projects were initiated, dealing with snakebite, chloroquine toxicity and HIV/AIDS. The first year of an emergency nursing curriculum was supported.
Conclusions: There is now considerable enthusiasm for the development of emergency medicine as the hospital generalists’ specialty. Emergency nursing training has also made a start. Limitations on resources will require flexibility to sustain the project. Further support by emergency physicians will be needed.