Mass Gathering Medicine

Developing Best Practices for Mass Gathering Medicine

Strategic Leader: Adam Lund

Mass Gathering Medicine (MGM), also referred to as event medicine in the literature or more broadly as Mass Gathering Health (MGH), refers to the health services organized around crowds at large, pre-planned community events. It is an emerging area of emergency prehospital/out-of-hospital care provided by multi-disciplinary teams through a variety of models dependent on event size, risk factors, geography, unique hazards and resources available. Improper planning for health needs and emergency services at and around events puts British Columbians attending the event and/or in the host community at risk for inadequate or delayed care.

To provide academic leadership in research, education, clinical support tools, and advocacy/policy development to protect and improve the quality of care in the context of special events for British Columbians, Canadians, and to contribute to the world literature on MGM/MGH.

Long Term Goals

  • To support multi-disciplinary leaders in MGM/MGH research in order to create knowledge that will strengthen evidence-based risk assessment, strategic planning, pre-event collaboration, injury prevention and harm-reduction, on-event provision of care, and post-event reporting
  • To maintain an international Registry of MGM events as a core resource to support evidence-based recommendations for best practice
  • To develop educational resources that will support the development of robust, multi-disciplinary teams with the knowledge and skills to provide optimal care in a diverse range of event contexts
  • To advocate for event safety, and provide consultation and support to government agencies (municipal and provincial) involved in permit-granting of special events to ensure that adequate tools are available to support decision-makers in evaluating and approving realistic risk assessments, and emergency management and safety plans
  • To create knowledge around clinical best practices and support activities that translate that knowledge into practice

Short Term Goals

  • Participate in guideline development for mass gatherings through multi-stakeholder engagement, consultation and collaboration
  • Maintain and expand the scope of the UBC DEM MGM Registry (
  • Participate in the development of a data framework with international collaborators to improve comparisons and meta-analyses by MGM/MGH researchers
  • Contribute to networking, theory and conceptual development of MGM/MGH through interdisciplinary team publication
  • Support multi-disciplinary learners to participate in MGM/MGH events and scholarly projects through planned mentorships by seasoned, practicing health care professionals in the event context

Key Partners & Stakeholders

  • UBC Departments of Emergency Medicine
  • UBC School of Nursing
  • Justice Institute of BC
  • BC Ambulance Service – Special Operations Division
  • Emergency Management BC
  • Union of BC Municipalities
  • Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  • World Health Organization – Virtual Interactive Advisory Group on Mass Gatherings
  • World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
  • Medical Services Providers

Work to Date
The MGM interest group began in 2008 at the Pemberton Music Festival, with the introduction of the first MGM Elective resident learner. The vision expanded from education to include research, clinical practice support and advocacy through the following year. The group has engaged in and completed numerous research projects, and presented at local, national, and international conferences. MGM was the first approved Interest Group in the UBC DEM, and established the template and structure for future interest groups. The group continues to engage with diverse stakeholders, and is viewed as a central source for expert input into mass gathering and special event issues in our province and beyond.