Chairman's Letter

As many of you are aware, Dr. Paul Tran’s untimely death this year left a gaping hole for his family at home and at work.  He fought his illness with courage, and he was inspirational to those who knew him.  In other forums, I have attested to his many contributions to Emergency Medicine in Nebraska, so I won’t list them here.  I think it would be safe to say he was a rare triple threat.  He excelled in patient care, teaching and research.  He will be sorely missed.

We are honored to have worked with the Nebraska Foundation begin work to endow the Dr. T. Paul Tran Lectureship.  The Emergency Department made the first contribution to the fund, and in a short time, we have received a great response from others who knew him.  I think it is a fitting tribute.  We plan to have our first T Paul Tran Lecture at the resident research day in the 3rd week of June 2014, which will coincide with the 20th year anniversary of his arrival at UNMC, and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the EM residency program.  I would encourage as many as possible to plan on attending the event. 

We are working hard to get the residency program ready for The Next Accreditation System.  As you may know, emergency medicine is one of seven specialties set to start this ACGME directive in July 2013.  The other specialties will start in 2014.  This will involve many changes, including some new and revised program requirements, but one of the main changes is how we will train and evaluate residents.  Emergency Medicine has developed 23 outcomes-based milestones for resident performance within the six domains of clinical competence.  The milestones are competency-based developmental outcome expectation that can be demonstrated progressively by residents from the beginning of their education through graduation to the unsupervised practice of emergency medicine.  These milestones are observable behaviors, and the subjective evaluation of resident’s performance will be a thing of the past.

Dr Hoffman has done a great job getting us ready for these changes.  Unfortunately (for us), Dr. Hoffman has decided to step down as program director.  He has done a fantastic job of shepherding the program for the last 3 years, and has positioned us well for the future.  Fortunately (for us) Dr. Barthold has agreed to become the new program director.  With the assistance of the new associate program director, Dr. Branecki, and the rest of the faculty, I think Dr. Barthold will bring the program to new heights.

Academically, we continue to make scholarly contributions, with 13 peer review articles, 9 abstracts, 8 book chapters and numerous regional, national and international presentations this academic year.  Of the 32 EDs at academic medical centers with federal research funding, this year our funding amount put us in the top half of that elite group.

I would like to thank the graduating residents for all of their hard work over the past 3 years, and all that they have contributed to the department.  Dr. Huang will be doing an ultrasound fellowship in Florida, and Dr. Ernest will be doing an EMS fellowship in Minnesota.  The other graduates will be heading to California, Oregon, Washington, Missouri, and Virginia.

I would also like to welcome the new incoming residents.  Every year, the next class is best class, and this year is no different.  We had over 450 applicants, and the strength and depth of the applicant pool continues to improve.  This will be the first year we will have 8 residents in each of the three years of training.  The new residents are coming to us from California, Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

We are looking forward to welcoming the newest faculty member, Dr. Amy Cutright.  She will be graduating from the East Carolina residency program and has a strong interest in student education.  She will be a great addition to the faculty, and I look forward to her developing her clinical and academic career here.

Our (un)usually ‘productive’ faculty and residents were especially ‘productive’ this year.   We welcomed new (or expected) babies from Drs. Mahapatra, Meinke, Barksdale, Asher, Wang, Long, Ernest, Bentley, and Linnaus.  When we recently teased one of our former ‘productive’ residents about how he must not have spent enough time at the hospital, he responded: “it doesn’t take that long”.  I’m not sure what he meant by that.

As always, thanks for your continued interest and support.

Robert L. Muelleman, MD, FACEP
Professor and Chairman