The Midnight Event


By: Doug Miller EMT-P, MBA President – Acute Care Education Systems Inc.
Midnight Event Program Director
Midnight ACLS Course Director 1997 – Present
Midnight PALS Course Co - Director 2000 – Present

The Midnight ACLS and Midnight PALS courses have long been popular events down at UIC Medical Center in the heart of the Illinois Medical District. The 'Midnight' idea was born out of a conversation during an ACLS instructor gathering on a hot July night in 1997 at Hawkeye's on Taylor Street in Chicago. At 1:35 AM on July 9th seemingly from out of nowhere came the utterance, “Well, if we don’t go home soon, we might as well head back to the medical center and fire up an ACLS course for the nightshift.” The rest is history.

The original Midnight ACLS course was held Monday, August 12, 1997. It began at 11 PM and went on until 8 AM. There were 11 participants and all successfully completed the course. But participants and instructors all agreed that watching the sun come up was harsh and not a necessary component of a good night course! The hours were eventually changed to the current format of 6 PM to 3 AM. The annual date for the Midnight Event was also moved to the last Friday and Saturday in January.

In 2000 the Midnight PALS course was added and has traditionally been held in a two-night format. This course is directed by Susan Kecskes MD, Director of Pediatric Intensive Care at UIC Medical Center. The wealth of knowledge she brings has made the Midnight PALS course a truly first class experience.

The 2006 courses marked the 10th anniversary of the Midnight Event. BLS and BLS renewal courses were added and participants quickly discovered it was possible to renew ACLS, PALS and BLS in one weekend. A total of 10 separate courses were offered over the two nights.

In 2007 a record 186 participants attended the Midnight event.

Many assumptions have been made about who attends the Midnight Event. The PM and night shifts are always well represented along with large numbers of Emergency Department staff and pre-hospital providers. Attending and Resident physicians show up in surprising numbers, especially for the renewal courses. Since 1997 the Midnight courses have attracted healthcare professionals of every discipline. Some attend every year. While most participants reside locally, previous participants have come from Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Minnesota, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Florida and Colorado.Physicians have attended the event from 15 different countries.

Interesting facts about the Midnight Event

  • The largest event (multiple courses) was in 2007 with 186 participants
  • The smallest course was in 1999 with only 3 participants
  • More than 1800 participants have attended since 1997
  • One participant has attended all but one of the Midnight ACLS courses
  • Four participants have attended every Midnight PALS course
  • Only 3 participants have ever ‘failed’ a Midnight course
  • Food has always been provided
  • Each year there is a waiting list of talented instructors who want to participate
  • There have been only 3 ‘sleep casualties’ … two course participants and one instructor (All were assisted in finding safe passage home.)
  • Most of the nightshift personnel who attend do not drink coffee
  • In 2000 over 30 participants wore pajamas or fuzzy slippers to the event

Please Note

At the time of REGISTRATION all participants must show proof of current Healthcare Provider level BLS (CPR). Participants need to transmit BOTH the front and back side of the card to the office at the time of registration. BLS certification can be renewed at the Midnight Event. Please see schedule for details.

BLS and PALS renewal candidates must also show proof of current ACLS or PALS (or both) depending on the track(s) chosen.

Course fees DO NOT include textbooks. This is a ‘BYOB’ event (bring your own book). Most participants who attend the Midnight event already have access to the current textbooks. Current versions of all American Heart Association materials are available at the time of registration for an additional fee.

There are no refunds for any of the courses offered at this event. The Midnight event is specially priced. This pricing does not apply to any other course offered by Acute Care Education Systems Inc.  Rescheduling to another course is possible for an additional fee if completed 72 hours prior to the event.

Due to COVID-19, this year's event will be held at our Schaumburg ACES Office.

For course schedules and more details about this year’s Midnight Event: Click Here