DAYTON, OHIO--Almost 200 people from across the country will attend the weekend anniversary celebration, which begins Friday evening at the Dayton Racquet Club. Twenty-five years ago, Wright State University's fledgling medical school formed a new Department of Emergency Medicine, a relatively new medical specialty at the time and only the fourth such department in the country. Using a community-based model, the School of Medicine did not build a university hospital. Instead, it partnered with local hospitals, health districts, and health organizations to train tomorrow's doctors, and the new department quickly followed suit.
Housed at Cox Institute at Kettering Memorial Hospital, the Department of Emergency Medicine has become an active community partner. It has trained more than one-third of the region's emergency medicine physicians through its residency program, which supports 36 physicians in a three-year program and has graduated almost 250 physicians. Directors of emergency departments throughout the region are graduates of the program. The department also offers a one-year accredited fellowship in Sports Medicine.
Members of the faculty provide medical expertise for a wide range of activities throughout the community: Urban Search and Rescue teams, including Ohio Task Force One; local SWAT teams and law enforcement; and local sports events, from the high school level, to the Bombers hockey team, to the U.S. Women's Open. Every year, the department provides medical support to the Dayton Air Show. Faculty serve in leadership roles for the Miami Valley EMS Council, as medical directors for local fire departments, and are nationally certified trainers for mass casualty events, either natural or manmade.
This year, the department will train close to 1,000 individuals in two- and three-day sessions designed to standardize the response to potential disasters and strengthen the nation's public health system. The department is one of four regional training centers for the National Disaster Life Support program, a curriculum developed in 2003 by the American Medical Association in partnership with major medical centers and national health organizations. The other three certified sites are Yale, George Washington University, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Beyond these tangible and laudable accomplishments, however, is the basic value a medical school and its departments bring to their home base. "We have successfully competed nationally to bring a talented core of emergency medicine physicians and educators to Dayton, making it a more desirable community to live and work in," says Glenn Hamilton, M.D., professor and chair of emergency medicine. "They have a wide range of talent and give the Greater Miami Valley a national presence in the field."
In the field of emergency medicine, members of the department have been widely published and Dr. Hamilton co-authors a textbook on emergency medicine used by medical schools across the country.
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