Program Director's Welcome


I have always been inspired by stories of people overcoming obstacles to become the best version of themselves. Michael Jordan was cut as a sophomore and despite the fact that it crushed him at the time, he came back and became the greatest basketball player of all time. He dreamed big and through endless hours of repetition, dedicated effort and calculated risks he made his dreams come true.

While I will never win a gold medal or wear a championship ring, I like to think that I share at least one trait that those amazing individuals do. I believe in the power of dreams. Dreams are what drive us.  The word dream itself is powerful; But dreaming alone isn’t what made Michael Jordan or Serena Williams legends. They benefited from a lot of their own hard work and the help of a good coach. Any mentor will lend encouragement, approval, and congratulations.  A great motivator, a great coach, will push you to your limitations, correct your weakness and shortcomings, and cherish your successes.

As a father of two young boys, I dream of my children making the winning shot, hitting a home run, seeing their name on the top of the honor roll list.  However, I have witnessed many frustrating strikeouts, missed free-throws, nail biting losses, and even academic struggles as they grow.  Often my children will hear me shout from the sidelines:  “Let Your Lion Out!”. As I tell them, there is a lion inside of all of us. There is a part of us that can be more courageous than we ever thought possible. Some people keep that lion locked in a cage. But if you let that lion out, you might dare to take the shot that wins the game. You might also be willing to hunt your dream.

To flourish in emergency medicine it takes courage, it takes confidence, and a strong mindset.  Unlike any other field in medicine; we are often forced to make life saving decision with often limited information and time.  This requires practice, repetition, and willingness to take calculated risks.  In 2004, I was part of the inaugural class of EM residents at UNMC that built a residency forged in competence, compassion, and service.  Our residents are faced with a diverse, complex patient population, dozens of hours in the cadaver and simulation labs, and volumes of reading and question banks. I believe in leadership that fosters: motivation, inspiration, building, training and individualized mentoring for each resident. Through rigorous rotations in urban, suburban, and rural emergency departments our graduates leave this program capable to excel in any work environment they may choose. So if your dream is to be an emergency physician and UNMC is the place you choose where you are going to chase that dream our faculty will get the chance to coach and mentor you through what can be an exhilarating, yet sometimes challenging, 3 years. We will all say: Are you hungry for your dream? Are you willing to fight for that dream? And then we will help you chase your dreams. We believe you should dream big and believe in yourself!  


Chad Branecki, MD
Program Director
Emergency Medicine Residency Program
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Residency Leadership

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