A senior resident in the UC Department of Emergency Medicine is the first winner of a prestigious award for physicians training for a career as a clinically focused Emergency Medical Services (EMS) medical director who is board-certified in EMS medicine.
Ryan Gerecht, MD, is the inaugural winner of the NAEMSP / Physio-Control EMS Medicine Medical Director Fellowship, a partnership of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and Physio-Control, a Redmond, Wash.-based maker of emergency medical response products and services. The award will be presented at the 2014 NAEMSP annual meeting Jan. 16-18, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz.
The 12-month, $80,000 award will cover related training and education costs. Applicants were judged by a selection committee based on their potential for a career as an EMS medical director and to become a national leader in the EMS field.
Calling the award "an incredible honor,” Gerecht thanked NAEMSP and Physio-Control and added, "I feel truly humbled by this national recognition. … My receiving this award is truly a testament to the incredible opportunities for resident leadership and involvement in EMS at the University of Cincinnati.”
"It is great to see a person with as much passion and energy for EMS as Ryan be the first recipient of our joint award,” said Ritu Sahni, MD, president of NAEMSP and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Ore.
Gerecht has chosen to remain at UC for his training, said Jason McMullan, MD, director of UC’s fellowship in emergency services medicine. UC’s program partners with the Cincinnati Fire Department, UC Health Air Care & Mobile Care and many of the largest fire departments in the region, including Colerain Township, Blue Ash and Sharonville, to provide both education for fellows and medical direction for the fire departments.
Earlier this year, UC’s EMS fellowship program was one of the first in the nation to receive full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the organization responsible for accrediting post-MD medical training programs in the United States. This is the first year that the ACGME has accredited EMS fellowship programs; UC’s was among the first 20 programs across the country to receive accreditation. (There are now a total of 33.)
"We are pleased that Ryan has chosen to keep the award here with us when he could have taken it anywhere he wanted,” McMullan said. "His choice aligns with our goal of creating a nationally recognized top-tier program by recruiting the best applicants for it and keeping them here.”
McMullan said every EMS system operates with physician oversight. Faculty and fellows within the UC’s Department of Emergency Medicine provide medical direction for 26 regional EMS departments, four local law enforcement agencies, three paramedic training programs and the regional Urban Search and Rescue team. In these roles, fellows work with the departments on quality improvement, continuing education programs, field observation, administrative meetings and medical director shadowing.
Gerecht, a 2010 graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, started his career as an emergency medical technician (EMT) on a ground ambulance. He serves as an assistant medical director for Colerain Township Fire & EMS, where he is responsible for continuing education for approximately 225 personnel, and is a flight physician and assistant medical director for UC Health Air Care & Mobile Care. In addition, he serves on the Southwest Ohio Prehospital Protocol Committee and is the co-director for an undergraduate course on EMS education at UC in the College of Allied Health Sciences.
Gerecht, who will begin his fellowship July 1, 2014, as one of three fellows in UC’s program, said the award "recognizes the phenomenal mentorship I have been so fortunate to receive from the faculty within the Department of Emergency Medicine and Division of EMS.
"Drs. (Donald) Locasto, McMullan and (William) Hinckley, to name a few, are national leaders in EMS and critical care transport. As a resident, the opportunity to learn from these dedicated physicians is unique and priceless.”
For information about applying for EMS fellowships at UC, contact Vicki Conneighton at 513-558-8406.