After my recent Resus Room Readiness post, my buddy James got in touch with me wanting to do this episode. I said frack that, we can't do an episode, there is too much goodness in the French brain, we need a series. This is the first episode in a new series with an amazing Emergency Medicine Doc and Innovator, James French.
James French, MD
Dr. James French was born to a father that was an incredible engineer and tenacious inventor. James’ earliest memories were working with his dad restoring vintage motorcycles which sparked his fascination with fixing things. When James was 5 years old he went to watch the film “Superman” with his dad. It turned out they knew Christopher Reeves from the flying club that they went to, so they actually knew superman while he was learning to fly. James attended many Emergency Departments in the years after as it turns out that no matter how hard he believe you can fly or whatever machine he invented, gravity always won.
Whilst studying for a science degree he realised that training in martial arts was a partial antidote to not being able to sit still or focus on one task and has trained in martial arts throughout the majority of his life.
In 1995 James started medical school in Southampton, England. In 1997 at a local kung-fu club he met a guy called Dr. Cliff Reid who was a resident or registrar in Emergency Medicine. They immediately became friends. Whilst at medical school James would shadow Dr. Reid when he worked in the ED, particularly at weekends . They constantly exchanged ideas about resuscitation, psychology, meditation and of course martial arts. Cliff later stated openly on social media that James saved him from a residency system that was breaking him. To outsiders it was obvious that the “saving” was a two way street. James’ passion for resuscitation and education comes from Cliff.
James graduated medical school in 1999. Whilst driving to work as an intern in 2000 he was first on scene at a fatal road traffic collision. Trying to render aid to multiple trapped and dying casualties, with no formal training in prehospital care was a formative experience. He started working with the Magpas Air Ambulance System (www.magpas.org.uk) as a volunteer in 2003. The training course featured multiple days of simulation based medical education, a competency based curriculum and was probably a decade ahead of its time and was lead by the legend that is Dr. Rod Mackenzie. Influenced heavily by the aviation industry and the military Rod and James invented the first RSI kit dump and RSI checklist in about 2006. James continued to work with Magpas in PHEM until 2012.
In 2009 James started working as an attending in Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge and was given the task of selecting and purchasing all of the clinical equipment and for a new Trauma Center. Influenced heavily by a very strong department of clinical engineers lead by Prof Paul White, James realised the necessity of applying principles of from EMS, ergonomics, lean and clinical engineering to resuscitation practice.
In 2012 James moved to Canada to work in Saint John, New Brunswick. Whilst in New Brunswick he chaired the trauma research subcommittee and lead an interprofessional team to establish a province wide simulation system for trauma education. In 2017 James met Dr. David Elias, who is an Emergency Physician and highly successful medical entrepreneur,