2019-2020 RAMS MEMBER-AT-LARGE CANDIDATE STATEMENTS
Candidate statements are listed in alphabetical order.
Adrian A. Cotarelo, MHS
Alpert Medical School at Brown University
My name is Adrian Cotarelo, I am an MS4 at Alpert Medical School at Brown University. I attended Johns Hopkins University for my undergraduate degree in public health studies, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for my master’s degree in epidemiology. For the last two years I have served as a medical student ambassador (MSA) for the SAEM annual meeting, and last year was selected as one of the lead MSAs for the SAEM18. In this role I worked alongside the SAEM Program Committee to coordinate the MSA involvement during the annual meeting as well as MSA social events. Throughout my medical school training I have worked towards promoting student exposure to the field of emergency medicine (EM). As one of the EM interest group (EMIG) student leaders, I led a seminar on professional organizations in EM. SAEM is an organization where I was able to combine my academic interests in education, community health, and EMS while working to further the field of emergency medicine. As a part of the RAMS Board, I would continue to serve the organization and would strive toward increasing medical student involvement with SAEM.
During my prior involvement with SAEM as a medical student ambassador, I had the opportunity to work closely with medical students from around the country. Through this work, I have noted that a number of students are not aware of the breadth of resources available through RAMS since its relatively recent founding. Even among the medical student ambassadors, more likely to be familiar with the resources available through the greater SAEM, there was still a significant gap in the knowledge of what RAMS has to offer. If chosen to serve, I will focus on these core areas: 1. raising awareness of SAEM among preclinical students; 2. outreach and communication with EMIGS; and 3. organizing regional RAMS contacts.
I believe that one area in which RAMS can improve in its outreach to medical students is via more frequent communication with EMIGs (given the regular turnover of EMIG student leaders) as well as prepared materials for interest groups to present or distribute to their general body. Regional RAMS contacts can be arranged, who would then reach out to their region’s EMIGs yearly and be available as liaisons or to field questions. A RAMS contact would be a valuable resource to offer EMIGs, particularly those that are still developing. If distributed appropriately, this would not provide a significant burden of work onto the RAMS contacts who would primarily reach out yearly to new student EMIG leaders, and then be available to field questions as needed. Increased medical student awareness of RAMS, as well as of SAEM as a whole, is a way to foster lifelong engagement with academic emergency medicine.
Over the past several years I have served on a variety of executive boards for large student groups. In college I was the operations officer for the Hopkins Emergency Response Teaching Unit, where I coordinated the administration of each of our emergency first responder courses, as well as our community CPR initiative. As a medical student I was elected the administrator of the Brown Student Free Clinics site at Clinica Esperanza, where I worked alongside other student board members as well as the executive board of the greater organization to decrease our patient wait times as well as increase our census. These experiences provided me with both experience in managing and working alongside large numbers of people, as well as insight into my own strengths and areas of improvement as a leader.
I am driven, tenacious, and have maintained demonstrable dedication to the fields of emergency medicine, public health, and medical education. I believe that I am well-equipped to serve on the RAMS board, and thank you for your consideration.
Chris Counts, MSc
I’m a fourth year medical student at Johns Hopkins nearing the end of the residency application cycle. Prior to medical school I received an MSc in public health in London. In undergrad I studied anthropology and biomedical science in my home state of Colorado. I’ve been involved with several organizations in a variety of leadership capacities that have prepared me to be an effective member-at-large for the RAMS Board. I directed a non-profit organization for several years that provided personal wellness and hygiene supplies to individuals experiencing homelessness. I also served on a project committee for an organization called Universities Allied for Essential Medicine, which advocates for affordability and access to medicines.
A relative newcomer to the field of emergency medicine (EM), I found SAEM’s online educational and professional resources invaluable as I made my decision to apply into EM, and I’m hoping to pay it forward by serving on the RAMS Board. I decided to run for office because I’m excited to work with the board to bring resident and medical student members of SAEM content, programming, and opportunities that are professionally useful and personally fulfilling.
One such opportunity that I would prioritize is empowering medical students and residents to get involved with local and national health policy advocacy. As current and future EM providers, we have a unique voice to advocate for disenfranchised patients and for policies to improve our broken health care system. Personally, I’ve been involved with advocacy to address drug shortages, improve access to Naloxone, and train medical students to provide inclusive care to LGBTQ patients. Advocacy is most effective when individuals are able to connect with others who have similar passions and coordinate their efforts in a targeted manner. RAMS therefore has the unique opportunity to capture the energy and enthusiasm of the SAEM membership and channel it into productive and organized efforts. I would be honored and excited to facilitate such efforts if I am selected to be a part of the RAMS Board.
Thanks for reading and for your consideration!
Lincoln Memorial University
I had the opportunity of being one of the few MS1 medical student ambassadors (MSAs) at the 2016 SAEM annual meeting in New Orleans, LA. That SAEM experience motivated me in multiple ways. First, exposure to the latest studies in emergency medicine confirmed my interests in academic medicine. Secondly, witnessing and coordinating SAEM16 provided appreciation for conferences following SAEM: 2016 ECHO at Icahn School of Medicine, Top 10 Advances in Clinical Cardiology and Knoxville Academy of Medicine Politics Event. I continued my passion in academic emergency medicine the following year as lead MSA for the SAEM17 in Orlando, FL. Along with leading and coordinating 40+ medical students at the 2017 SAEM annual meeting, I was able to present my involvement in a medical student run volunteer fire department. I was fortunate to be chosen again for MSA lead position for SAEM18 in Indianapolis where I helped to coordinate approximately 50 medical students. Alongside my lead MSA position, I was chosen to be on the RAMS Research Committee attending our meeting at the 2017 SAEM annual meeting. Over the last four years, I have witnessed and participated in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. As I look forward to the 2019 NRMP residency match in emergency medicine, I am thankful for my participation and exposure to academic emergency medicine through SAEM. I hope to continue my involvement through RAMS as an emergency medicine resident and continue to contribute to SAEM and academic emergency medicine.
John James Hurley
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University
I am a 38-year-old second career veteran who is very excited about leaving medical school and beginning to learn the practice of emergency medicine in residency. Medical education has been a constant throughout my life. Formally my college education began in 2011 with my undergraduate course work taking place at Campbell University. That consisted of eight-week, night school courses where I graduated with a BA in applied science. I am currently completing my medical degree this May at the Brody School of Medicine in eastern North Carolina. During my tenure at the Brody School of Medicine, I participated in the Medical Student Council as a class representative and then as president for the last two years. I was asked to spend a year in main campus Student Government Association, creating a position in their senate for the medical school. I joined SAEM in 2017 and started on the career development and mentorship committee and the education committee. I volunteered to work on the roadmaps project as chief editor where I was fortunate to have the assistance and mentorship of Ms. Byrd-Duncan, Dr. Jean (Sun) Scofi, Dr. Lucia Derks as well as all the authors in the creation of this project. It has been a wonderful educational and learning experience.
I am applying for this position because I am looking for any way that I can insert myself into shaping the future of education for individuals who are walking where I was recently. My desire to serve as a representative goes far beyond owning that seat for a year. I see strength and a passion in SAEM for the medical student and resident alike and understand that access to mentorship in academics is mandatory for the development of critical thinkers. I plan on conducting myself with the same drive and tenacity as I have my last two decades, as I firmly believe that increased responsibility requires increased action of service.
My specific drive for this upcoming year among supporting the ideas and mission of the main board is to develop and increase the international recruitment for SAEM RAMS. As a society, we are standing for academics in emergency medicine. No borders are stated or implied in the our titles. The pursuit of academics and the enrichment of education has long been pursued globally, despite conflicts, and is one of the few areas that have always been able to transcend political unrest. Knowing this, my desire is to expand our RAMS to include an international component where students and residents in every country can join the discussion, provide feedback, break down walls, push current protocols and ways of thinking, and gain mentorship in emergency medicine.
Thank you for the opportunity and I look forward to serving the board and the SAEM RAMS community.
Aaron R. Kuzel
Lincoln Memorial University
Thank you for the opportunity to run for the SAEM member-at-large position on the 2019 RAMS Board. As of current, I am a fourth-year medical student at Lincoln Memorial University and looking forward to the match in March 2019! Prior to medical school I had the privilege to serve with the United States Department of Justice as a forensic scientist where I worked on forensic exploitation of terrorist explosive devices and worked closely with units responsible for hostage negotiation and violent crimes coordinating with EMS and disaster response. This experience fueled my passion for emergency medicine and through SAEM, I could assist with policies and opportunities to effect improvement in the specialty; especially in rural health and medical student mentorship. During my medical school tenure, I have had the privilege to serve two years on SAEM’s Ethics Committee and one year on the SAEM Program Committee Medical Student Ambassador Subcommittee. During my time on the ethics committee, I have published in SAEM Pulse on opportunities for emergency physicians to pursue ethics-related scholarly work. In addition, I have collaborated with physicians on the committee to evaluate campaign guidelines and substance abuse as it applies to SAEM and emergency medicine. Further, I have had the pleasure to serve as the national operations chair for the Omega Beta Iota Medical Political Advocacy Honor Society, the AAEM/RSA Advocacy Committee, and the Lincoln Memorial University Honors and Ethics Committee, Curriculum Committee, and Learning Resources Committee.
I am running for the member-at-large position on the 2019 RAMS Board as I hope to continue my service to SAEM and to mentor medical students interested in emergency medicine to land their dream specialty. As a student who attended a medical school without an emergency medicine faculty member, I know all too well the difficulties of navigating the emergency medicine match process without mentorship and guidance. As a member-at-large, I would spend my tenure discussing and creating opportunities and resources for medical students in the form of written materials, online discussion/meetings, and YouTube video guides that walk students through the process. In addition, I would create programs specifically for osteopathic students with advice on how to navigate the merger, whether to take the USMLE, and using VSLO to amplify their away elective months. Furthermore, as member-at-large I would promote further research and discussion about solutions for challenges facing emergency medicine physicians in our rural communities.
Thank you so very much for your consideration as you cast your ballot for this position. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the resident and medical student of SAEM and, if selected, I look forward to the continued opportunity to serve the many emergency medicine residents and students in our wonderful profession. Thank you again for your consideration!
James Li, MD
University of Cincinnati Emergency Medicine
James Li is a second year emergency medicine resident at the University of Cincinnati. He completed undergraduate studies at Emory University and received his medical degree from Drexel University. Professional interests include FOAMed, EMS, medical education, and physician wellness. He has pursued these interests by creating online educational content for his residency’s FOAMed blog, serving on committees, and acting as a mentor for medical students. James is an active resident member of SAEM. He helped create the RAMS Twitter account as a member of the RAMS Social Media/FOAM Committee. He also worked with the SAEM Web Evolution Committee to showcase RAMS as the SAEM October 2018 Digital Highlight.
Emergency medicine is full of innovative individuals who do great things both clinically and professionally. The pioneering spirit is what drew me into this specialty. RAMS is a young organization within SAEM that has amazing potential to help jump start academic careers for residents and medical students. The passion from residents/students and support from SAEM staff have inspired me to run for member-at-large. I want to continue improving SAEM RAMS digital presence through reorganizing the webpage, increasing social media activity, and giving members a voice by improving communication channels. I am excited to see what others will bring to the table. Everyone in emergency medicine has such diverse skill sets and experiences and we are known to get things done.
Christine T. Luo, MD, PhD
The Ohio State University
I received my undergraduate degree from the bioengineering: pre-medical major at the University of California, San Diego. I then attended the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. While in medical school, I was also a student leader for the OB/Gyn and surgery interest groups and received a PhD in microbiology. I became interested in emergency medicine, and after graduating medical school, I moved to Columbus, Ohio where I am currently a PGY-2 emergency medicine (EM) resident at The Ohio State University. I joined the SAEM RAMS Education Committee during my intern year and am currently in my second term. As a member of the committee, I have been actively involved in the Roadmaps project, working specifically on the ultrasound and medical toxicology roadmaps.
I am running for a member-at-large position since I would like to be further involved in developing SAEM RAMS resources for medical students and residents. I hope to continue building resources to help guide students along the path from medical school to residency. In addition, I would like to create resources to facilitate the transition from residency, with possible topics including job search and contracts. One of my goals is to promote interest in emergency medicine and SAEM RAMS, and I hope to increase communication with EM interest groups and residency programs. From this communication, I hope to gain feedback regarding additional topics to incorporate into resource building. I am excited to be a member of the SAEM RAMS community and would like to have the opportunity to contribute!
Jeff Sakamoto, MD
Stanford-Kaiser Emergency Medicine Residency Program
I was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. I attended the University of Southern California for undergraduate education where I majored in biomedical engineering and graduated valedictorian of the Viterbi School of Engineering. I received my medical degree from the Duke University School of Medicine, where I was inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Medical Honor Society. I have always been interested in medical education, research, and emergency medicine (EM) leadership. As an EM resident, I have successfully published multiple research articles in peer reviewed journals including, Academic Emergency Medicine, as well as FOAMED articles in blogs such as ALiEM. I have also provided dedicated teaching shifts and facilitated high fidelity simulation for medical students, improved the new intern orientation clinical experience, and have been integral in planning the new clinical/educational curriculum as our residency transitions to a four-year program and into the new hospital.
RAMS offers a national platform to advance medical education, EM research, and physician well-being, areas which I am passionate to contribute. As a RAMS Board member, I would love to help shape RAMS’ multi-faceted approach to improving the development and training of EM residents and medical students.
My leadership experiences, as outlined above, offer a unique vantage point to bring new ideas to further improve several RAMS initiatives for EM learners. Furthermore, since there are no current RAMS board members from the west coast, I believe that I can provide geographic representation to extend the influence and objectives of the RAMS executive board.
Aside from advancing existing programs in medical education and research, some of my ideas on how RAMS may be able to better serve its members include: provide EM learners a roadmap for navigating the extensive text and online medical education resources, improve access to research mentorship, and create a robust curriculum and resources for EM residents pertaining to coding and billing, insurance and reimbursement, and litigation stress. Specific to physician well being, we have an extensive list of projects at Stanford that will benefit any EM learners. My hope is to disseminate these resources to help fellow EM trainees find professional fulfillment and prevent burnout.
Wendy W. Sun
Virginia Commonwealth University
Hello everyone! My name is Wendy and I am currently an M4 at Virginia Commonwealth University. I studied Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University for college. It would be such an honor to serve on the RAMS Board for 2019-2020 as I have been involved with RAMS since its inauguration, been a part of its growth, and firmly believe in the incredible work that has yet to come!
I have come to love the SAEM community after being a medical student ambassador (MSA) at SAEM17 and have been involved ever since as a RAMS Mentorship and Career Development Committee Member. I helped organize SAEM’s Speed Mentoring Event as the RAMS representative, and this past fall, I founded the RAMS Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. I created this subcommittee after parsing through ACGME data and realizing the continued work that still needs to be done for diversity and inclusion within emergency medicine (EM). I am excited to lead my team’s first meeting later this month as we define a vision and goals for our subcommittee and start our work on projects.
If elected, there are two global goals that I want to accomplish: 1) collect data for reflection and improvement, and 2) foster greater community. As RAMS heads into its third year, I believe it is important to look back on what has been done well and what could be improved. I want to accomplish this by surveying RAMS committee members so that every member has an opportunity to voice their opinion. I want to achieve my second goal by helping facilitate connections amongst committee members through a bio book. Since a lot of members will not have the opportunity to meet in person and get to know one another, I think it would helpful for folks to submit a one-pager bio (photo and answers to questions such as where they are from and what their hobbies and interests are), which would be made available to each committee. This way folks can search for members with similar interests, have a conversation starter, or feel like the ice has been broken before collaborating on committee projects.
I would love to have the opportunity to continue serving RAMS as a board member. Thank you!
Amanda L. Ventura, MD
University of Cincinnati
I am currently a third year resident at the University of Cincinnati. My involvement in SAEM and RAMS has been a highlight of my residency experience. I am currently serving on the program committee for SAEM 2019 as well as the RAMS education and mentorship committees. As a member of the RAMS Mentorship Committee I have the distinct pleasure of organizing and delivering the RAMS Ask-A-Chair series. This has afforded me the opportunity to work closely with the SAEM staff and I believe positions me for an easy transition to the RAMS Board.
I received my medical degree from the University of Cincinnati where I am now a resident, and my career interests are in academic medicine, specifically in the field of EMS and retrieval medicine. I believe that I could be an asset to the RAMS Board because of my previous experience in SAEM and RAMS, my connections within the field of emergency medicine, specifically EMS, and my leadership experience through current positions such as deputy resident director of the SWAT physician program at UC.
I am running for a RAMS Board position because of my experiences in RAMS. My role in the RAMS committees has helped to broaden my career prospects, as well as develop a specific career path. If elected I would like to work to get more residents and medical students involved with RAMS, as well as provide further opportunities for involvement for our current members.