In July of 2004, I was appointed to the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University as an Instructor of Emergency Medicine on the Clinician track. During my eight years here at Northwestern University, I believe my research, administration, and health services and policy accomplishments justify consideration for promotion to associate professor (full-time, non-tenure-eligible) with the career track of clinician-educator in the domains of research and health services. These accomplishments have led to increased recognition in the field of emergency medicine and health services research. My long-term career goal is to become a national leader in Emergency Department (ED) quality and patient safety research, with appropriate expertise to explore the healthcare delivery system characteristics that enable consistent optimal performance. My interest in this topic emanates from the belief that improved healthcare delivery systems are critical to achieve widespread adherence to evidence-based recommendations.
Career Path and Research Accomplishments
After completing a six-year combined undergraduate and medical school program at the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1999, I completed two years of general surgery residency at the Cleveland Clinic, Fairview Hospital surgery program in Cleveland, Ohio. I felt surgery was not the right career choice, and I was accepted as an emergency medicine resident at the University of Michigan in July, 2001. This is one of the top emergency medicine residencies in the country. During my final year, in 2003-2004, I was honored to be selected as one of three Chief Residents. Immediately upon graduation, I moved to Chicago in the summer of 2004 to begin my academic career at Northwestern University.
My early research at the University of Michigan focused on patient safety, as I evaluated resident perceptions of medical errors in the ED. I published my first paper on this topic and an operations intervention I designed to increase the reporting of medical errors by residents and faculty. After realizing that there was no reliable mechanism to capture the errors experienced or witnessed by clinicians, I developed an anonymous Web-based reporting system that is still currently used in the ED at the University of Michigan.
During my first two years as junior faculty at Northwestern University, I concentrated on enhancing my clinical skills, editing and writing a handbook of emergency medicine, educating the residents and medical students, and getting more involved in the operations of the ED. Because I enjoyed clinically taking care of patients with heart conditions such as myocardial infarction, I was asked to teach the EM residency module in cardiology. Since I also enjoyed the administration portion of emergency medicine, I was appointed as the module leader for the “Administration College” where I taught residents about reimbursement, coding, and running the emergency department operations. As I became more involved in cardiac care and the operations of the department, I realized there was so much research to be done on acute life-threatening illnesses that needed timely care, such as myocardial infarctions. As I finished editing the handbook of emergency medicine, Emergency Medicine Quick Glance McGraw-Hill, 2006, I had time to reflect on what I wanted to concentrate on in my academic career. It became clear that I wanted to make a career out of health services research. With health services research, I could combine cost-effectiveness, quality measurements such as door-to-balloon time, and time-sensitive diseases, such as myocardial infarction and sepsis.
I decided the best way to pursue a research career was to engage in a research fellowship in health services. I applied and was accepted to the Post-doctoral Research Fellowship at the Institute for Health Services Research and Policy Studies here at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.