5 Emergency Medicine Specialists Who Are Making A Difference

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Emergency Medicine is a field that requires adaptability, unfaltering judgement, and an inherent ability to problem solve. The work of the five physicians highlighted here demonstrates these traits and more. These five individuals have pushed the boundaries of what Emergency Medicine means, while revolutionizing their environments and the medical landscape.

Leana Wen, MD

Dr. Leana Wen

Dr. Wen is an emergency physician, published author, and public health leader. She has gained recognition through her book, “When Doctors Don’t Listen: How to Avoid Misdiagnosis and Avoidable Tests”, based on her experience seeking treatment for an ailing family member. Dr. Wen’s past experiences include advising Congress on medical education through her seat on the Council on Graduate Medical Education, and serving as a physician at some of the country’s leading hospitals. Dr. Wen was the national president of the American Medical Student Association, and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine/Resident and Student Association.

In January of 2015, Dr. Wen was appointed as the city of Baltimore’s Commissioner of Health, and she now functions as a public health expert and patient advocate, focused on transforming healthcare to become more patient-centric. Her work as a keynote speaker on the topic of public health and patient advocacy, such as her TED talk on health care transparency, has raised the visibility and public interest of important healthcare topics.

Twitter: Follow Dr. Wen here.

Michael Gonzalez, MD

Michael Gonzalez

As Houston’s assistant medical director to the fire department, Dr. Gonzalez used his background in emergency medicine to develop a program that is revolutionizing patient care in Houston. When the city’s emergency care landscape became bloated with non-emergencies following the expansion of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Gonzales developed Project ETHAN (Emergency TeleHealth and Navigation), a way to reduce the number of 911 calls, ambulance rides, and ED visits in non-emergency situations.

Project ETHAN is initiated when someone dials 911. When first responders arrive on the scene they perform a standard assessment.  If no life threatening emergency is evident, the patient is  provided with a tablet that facilitates a face to face conversation with an emergency physician in the 911 dispatch office, who collects information and develops a care plan. The role of the telehealth physician is not to diagnose, but to match the patient with the appropriate level of care. The telehealth physician is capable of scheduling an appointment with a clinic, paying for a city funded cab ride, or instructing the ambulance to transport the patient if a true emergency is present. Dr. Gonzalez’s project allows the people of Houston to continue receiving health services, while reshaping the developing perception of accessible care.

Twitter: Follow Houston Fire Department here.

Mike Cadogan, MD

Dr. Mike Cadogan is an emergency medicine provider and the founder behind Life in the Fast Lane (LIFT), a free, online database that has transformed emergency medicine education. LITFL grew from the Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM) Movement, the term that describes the ideology of accessible medical education for all. The writers behind LITFL describe FOAM as “a collection of resources, a community, and an ethos”.

LITFL now functions as a medical education platform working in conjunction with promoting the FOAM movement.  Dr. Cadogan works along with several contributors to provide up-to-date, relevant, and essential information on the medical field, while simultaneously advocating for free and accessible medical information.

Twitter: Follow Dr. Cadogan here.

Iltifat Husain, MD

Dr. Husain is an emergency medicine physician, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the director of the innovative Mobile App Curriculum, also at Wake Forest. Dr. Husain has fused his specalities, medicine and mobile app technology, into the development of two mobile app programs, called iMedicalApps.com and iPrescribeApps.com.

As the founder and editor-in-chief of iMedicalApps, Dr. Husain is responsible for the cultivation and maintenance of this physician centered tool. The online publication is geared towards providing education on mobile health technology and health care apps for a medical professional. The information is a source of reviews, commentary, and researched background information on mobile medical technology, compiled by a team of well equipped physicians, healthcare professionals, and health analysts. Alternatively, iPrescribeApps is a platform for providers to prescribe their patients with health related apps in direct relation to the patient’s condition, diagnosis, or health needs.

Twitter: Follow Dr. Husain here.

Kevin Fong, MD


Dr. Fong presents a diverse resume. His career began with a medical background in anaesthesia and intensive care medicine, and he served as the anaesthetic leader for the Patient Emergency Response Team and Major Incident Planning at the UCLH. He has also worked with the UK Space Agency, NASA, NESTA, and is the founder of the Center for Altitude, Space, and Environmental Medicine. Consequently, Dr. Wong has carved a niche for himself, firmly establishing his expertise working on the “edges” of medicine, that is, how survival is possible in the most extreme conditions.

Dr. Fong is a published author, his most recent title the 2014 book Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century. In this work, Dr. Fong describes his experience with administering medicine in the most inhospitable climates, such as in space, or deep at sea. His field, and experience, represent a little recognized realm of healthcare, yet his successes demonstrate the depth of possibility and the range of emergency medicine possibilities.

Twitter: Follow Dr. Fong here.

We are grateful to Dr. Wen, Dr. Gonzalez, Dr. Cadogan, Dr. Husaine, and Dr. Fong for their innovative work and dedication.

Do you know an inspiring physician who deserves to be featured? Email us at [email protected]

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