RAMS Official logo

RAMS Board 2020-2021 Elections

The Resident and Medical Students (RAMS) 2020-2021 elections will open on January 30, 2020. Ballots will be sent to the email associated with your SAEM membership.

Before casting your vote, please take a few moments to read through the candidate statements listed alphabetically under each position heading. To review the candidate statements for a specific position, please click on the position below.


Andrew Starnes, MD, MPH
Wake Forest School of Medicine

A StarnesI graduated from medical school at the University of Oklahoma where after deciding on emergency medicine I added an additional year for an MPH with a focus in health administration and policy. I first became involved with SAEM as a Medical Student Ambassador and then served on the inaugural RAMS Board of Directors as a member at large. This was followed by a year on the Membership Committee before returning to the RAMS Board of Directors as the secretary-treasurer, which is my current position. During this time I have been active with ongoing research into various projects related to EMS and ED resource utilization and outcomes, resulting in a number of regional and national presentations, as well as multiple publications.

I’m running for president because I appreciate the value of what SAEM offers young physicians and want to see even more benefit. Given my depth of experience within the organization I am well prepared to accomplish that goal. There is so much to be excited about in EM and how SAEM is at the forefront of shaping our specialty. A key part of that is SAEM’s investment in the education of residents and medical students. What we need to do is simply keep growing. That includes increasing the number of participating RAMS members, expanding the tools and resources we provide to them, and enlarging our capacity to provide meaningful mentorship experiences. By getting more students and residents involved in academic medicine early on, we will better prepare them for success through matching competitively, thriving in residency, and landing that dream job that makes the whole process worth it. It will also ensure that we move forward with a diverse group of researchers and advocates to safeguard the highest quality of medicine for patients and physicians alike. 


Jeffrey Sakamoto, MD
Stanford Emergency Medicine Residency

J SakamotoRAMS does an excellent job of providing members with access to resources for education, wellness, and mentorship. I hope to use my unique perspective with a background in research, education, and leadership to better serve our members. As a medical student at Duke University and resident at Stanford, 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 been integral in planning the new clinical/educational curriculum as our residency transitions to a four-year program and into a new hospital. Serving on the RAMS board this past year as an at-large member and as the wellness and resilience committee chair has allowed me to better understand the intricacies of SAEM and RAMS and the needs of our members. Furthermore, as the only current RAMS board member from the west coast, I believe that I can provide geographic representation to extend the influence and objectives of the RAMS board. Using my experience, I hope to create new initiatives to inspire members to become active members of RAMS and gain access to leadership, mentorship, research, and educational opportunities. 

As secretary-treasurer, I hope to take on a larger role in helping shape RAMS’ multi-faceted approach to improving the development and training of emergency medicine residents and medical students. My specific interests include improving active participation in RAMS committees and providing concrete and evidence-based wellness initiatives for residents and medical students. I hope to encourage RAMS members to become more active members in RAMS committees by providing opportunities for mentorship through increased interaction with senior faculty and leaders in emergency medicine. Regarding resident and medical student wellness, I will continue the projects of the RAMS Wellness and Resilience committee including creating a wellness resource list and improving wellness related activities and didactics at the SAEM national meeting. Further, my experience working with leaders in physician wellness at Stanford can help accomplish these aims. In addition to these specific goals, as secretary-treasurer I hope to continue to facilitate and implement the ideas and proposals of RAMS members and committees.\


Timothy J. Barbosa, MD
The University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston Medical School


Adrian A. Cotarelo, MD, MHS
St. John's Riverside Hospital

A CotareloI am a PGY-1 at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, NY. I graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and attended Johns Hopkins University for both my undergraduate degree in public health studies and a master’s degree in epidemiology. I first became involved with SAEM as a medical student, when at the urging of my mentor, I served as a SAEM Medical Student Ambassador (MSA). Through that experience I found a strong sense of community within the organization, and quickly knew that I would remain a part of SAEM throughout my career. I went on to reprise my role as an MSA and became a lead MSA the following year. This past year I remained involved in the SAEM Program Committee as a veteran MSA, and became involved with the EMS Interest Group, as well as the RAMS Membership Committee.

During my prior involvements with SAEM, I had the opportunity to work closely with medical students from around the country. Through this work, I saw that a number of students are not aware of the breadth of resources available through RAMS because of its relatively recent founding. Even among the medical student ambassadors, who are 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 medical students and residents; 2. outreach and communication with EMIGs and residency program leadership regarding the opportunities and resources available to students and residents; and 3. preparation of formal materials/resource sheets for new and interested RAMS members.

I believe that one area in which RAMS can improve is outreach to medical students and residents. Over the last year, the membership committee has promoted further outreach to students via frequent communication with EMIGs, and I believe that this trend can be further extended. More formally prepared materials for interest groups to present and distribute to their general body would provide something tangible for potential future SAEM members. Furthermore, I believe that more outreach to residency and medical school leadership could be established to promote regional SAEM meetings. These are valuable opportunities for students and residents to network and promote their research and projects, and there is much potential for improvement in attendance at these meetings. Increased medical student awareness of RAMS, as well as early involvement of both residents and medical students within SAEM as a whole, is a way to foster lifelong engagement with academic emergency medicine.

I am driven, tenacious, and have maintained demonstrable dedication to SAEM and to the fields of emergency medicine, public health, and medical education. I am well-equipped and would love to serve on the RAMS board. Thank you for your consideration.

Alexis del Vecchio
University of South Carolina

A delVecchioI am a fourth-year medical student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, with clerkships completed at Prisma Health Upstate (formerly Greenville Health System or GHS). I will be starting my emergency medicine residency next July. Prior to medical school, I attended Yale University for my undergraduate degree (BA) and then spent five years in Los Angeles, where I worked as an associate producer of Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, acted in film and TV, and founded three companies in the education field, one of which provides accessible materials to blind and visually-disabled students at universities across the nation.

I firmly believe that my varied and diverse professional experiences are highly transferable to a member-at-large position on the RAMS Board. In my previous position as a producer, I served on numerous committees, learned to seamlessly navigate complex hierarchical structures, interface with individuals from highly diverse backgrounds, and negotiated the needs and expectations of different individuals and member organizations and administrative bodies.

Just as I am an advocate for my patients in the emergency department, I seek to be your advocate, and will put the needs of the membership-at-large first in any decision, opinion, or input requested of me, should I be elected to this position. I wish to be your voice, defend your interests, and advance academic emergency medicine, keeping in mind the specific mentorship, learning, and advising needs of medical students and emergency medicine residents.

My specific goals for the duration of my tenure include to:

  1. Expand and improve contacts and networking between medical students and EM residents. Especially with having just gone through the residency interview process myself, I have found that the best, most reliable source of information and informal advising actually comes from residents who have recently gone through the same process. That knowledge cannot be gained from a website or the Internet. I hope we can establish new and innovative ways—whether virtually via one-off or regular audio/video group meets or through existing and additional “med student/resident” meetups at SAEM and the regional meetings—to foster these valuable interactions.
  2. Bring a unique perspective to fulfilling my duties. I bring diversity to the position in many ways: I am French-Canadian, born and raised in Montreal, worked in the movie business, have lived in multiple regions in the United States (Southeast, Northeast, and West Coast), and have an educational background rooted in the humanities. Diversity comes in many forms, and I believe and hope that these various experiences can help influence and fashion my approach to this position.
  3. Increase mentorship opportunities for medical students and residents. Some medical students attend institutions where there is no or a limited EM advising office, or where there is no emergency medicine residency, lacking the advising that some of their peers at other institutions benefit from; I hope I can help find ways to fill that gap.
  4.  Maintain an open-door email policy. I invite you to email me, should you elect me to this position, with your thoughts/concerns/ideas for improvement, and I shall bring this to the attention of the appropriate individuals in a timely fashion and discuss in the appropriate forums with the leadership.

Hamza Ijaz, MD
University of Cincinnati

H IjazHello everyone! I am a first-year resident at the University of Cincinnati. I completed my undergraduate studies at George Mason University and received my medical degree from The George Washington University. My interest in academic emergency medicine initially grew when I had the opportunity to present at SAEM17. Then, having served as an SAEM Medical Student Ambassador during SAEM18, I knew I wanted to get more involved within academic EM. I’ve made it a priority to seek out additional opportunities by publishing manuscripts in research journals, contributing to SAEM Pulse on topics such as wilderness medicine, creating FOAMed content for the University of Cincinnati’s residency blog, and by serving on the GME Education Committee at UC. 

None of these opportunities would have been possible if I didn’t have the support of incredible mentors. I’ve come to realize that mentorship is essential to succeeding in academic medicine. It is my hope to serve on the RAMS Board and enhance the mentoring opportunities for its members. Fostering a strong network of mentors and mentees would benefit both RAMS and SAEM because its members would be encouraged to get more involved. Additionally, I hope to curate content for medical students and early interns that facilitates the transition to residency. RAMS’ presence within SAEM allows it to leverage the numerous leaders in EM to benefit residents and medical students alike. As a RAMS Board Member, I would ensure communication and collaboration with our various committees so that we continue to offer high quality resources. 

Thank you for taking the time to read through our statements and for your consideration. I look forward to serving the SAEM and RAMS communities!

Daniel Nicholas Jourdan
Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

D JourdanAfter completing my bachelor’s degree at UNC Chapel Hill, I am now a 4th year medical student at the East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine and applying for emergency medicine residencies. I have prior leadership experience as an non-commissioned officer within the United States Army Special Operations Command including two wartime deployments. As well, I spent five years as a paramedic leading EMS responses in a busy urban environment. My previous board experience includes acting as a founding member of the Durham MedicOne Foundation, a joint effort between Durham City and Durham County governments to improve out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survival rates where I was successful in recruiting, organizing, and leading CPR instructors in the education of more than 5,000 citizens in compression-only CPR. I am currently completing my term as the Southeast 1 Regional Representative to the EMRA Medical Student Council (MSC) where I helped create three new state MSC’s, guided students in becoming leaders, and advocated for student concerns within the field of emergency medicine. I served on the RAMS Education Committee for two years where I produced the education track for RAMS Roadmaps, a guide for medical students, residents, and fellows about different fields within academic emergency medicine. As well, I’ve served for the past year on the SAEM Membership Committee collaborating on initiatives to produce more useful education products for SAEM members nationwide. 

I am honored to be running for the RAMS Board member-at-large position. As a young organization, I believe RAMS should focus on expanding their membership numbers and medical students are a largely untapped group as opportunities available for students have thus far been largely unseized. I believe many openings exist for SAEM/RAMS to extend their outreach and support specifically for medical students; as a potential RAMS board member, I see many avenues where we can expand upon that. My goal would be to improve the outreach, communication, and utility of SAEM/RAMS to medical students interested in academic emergency medicine with the hope of increasing membership by medical students. I would work to improve outreach by establishing a communication network between SAEM/RAMS and EMIG leadership at individual schools that can help propagate messages regarding SAEM/RAMS events and opportunities as well as better understand how SAEM/RAMS can help meet their needs. I would create a centralized database of research opportunities within emergency medicine for first year medical students to pursue during their open summers between first and second year. I would look to expand outreach of SAEM/RAMS by providing an available curriculum of educational initiatives medical students can lead and participate in with a strong focus on simulation and ultrasound. I would work to expand the grant offerings from SAEM/RAMS available to medical students conducting research and novel education initiatives in emergency medicine. Lastly, I would work to create a vibrant mentorship program between SAEM/RAMS members and students which could act as an avenue to grow interest in both organizations and emergency medicine research. I appreciate your time and consideration of my candidacy. 

Vytas Karalius, MD, MPH, MA
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

V Karalius

I was born and raised in Chicago, in a first generation Lithuanian-American immigrant family. After completing my undergraduate education at Michigan State University, I received my MPH and Master of Medical Science at Loyola University Chicago. I then had the opportunity to pursue my dream of becoming a physician at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. I am currently a second-year resident at Northwestern University.

In medical school, I was involved in medical education as a member of the Admissions Committee, Science of Healthcare Delivery Executive Committee, and the Basic Science Curriculum Committee. I also led several projects devoted to curriculum development and “flipped classroom” learning, as well as clinical research and community outreach programs. In residency, my focus has been on graduate medical education: pursuing a two-year mini-fellowship Medical Education Clinical Scholars Program, becoming a member of the RAMS Education Committee, participation in FOAMed as an editor of our residency’s NUEM Blog, developing our department’s Social EM Academy, and being a member of the ALiEM Wellness Think Tank.

As a RAMS Board Member-at-Large, I plan to focus on resident/student wellness and resilience. We have all seen the increasing evidence of how resident/physician wellness impacts patient safety, as well as resident burnout and mental health. Emergency medicine is one of the specialties at highest risk of burnout and poor wellness. It is almost unanimous that as trainees, we have had peers in medical school and/or residency who have struggled with mental health and wellness. As an organization that represents our specialty’s residents and medical students, we have an obligation to advocate, study and improve the current state of EM resident wellness and burnout.

While the evidence is alarming, I see an opportunity for significant improvement. I think we are in an exciting time where multi-disciplinary work is being done in wellness, equality and resiliency, and these concepts are becoming an expectation, not an ideal, at many institutions. Together, I think residents have an exciting opportunity to facilitate change and forge a new direction in medical education to improve the wellness of residents/physicians for generations to come.

Aaron R. Kuzel, DO, MBA
University of Louisville School of Medicine

A KuzelThank you for the opportunity to run for the SAEM member-at-large position on the 2020 RAMS Board. I am an intern at the University of Louisville School of Medicine in Louisville, Kentucky. 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 and now during residency, I have had the privilege to serve on SAEM’s Ethics Committee, SAEM Program Committee, RAMS Education Committee, and Career and Mentorship Committee. I have enjoyed the opportunities to work with the education committee on the Roadmaps project and develop educational materials on contract negotiation, increasing mentorship opportunities for medical students, and resources on the ERAS updates and the combined ACGME Match.

If honored to serve on the RAMS Board, I intend to work with my colleagues in developing opportunities for students and residents to engage in mentorship activities at the annual meeting, but also outside the yearly meeting. By serving with RAMS, I hope to help guide students and residents to be involved early in their careers, increase networking opportunities, assist them in meeting their research goals, and assist mentors to improve their mentorship skills. Additionally, I would continue working with the RAMS Education Committee in completing the Road Maps for all fellowships and academic career tracks as well as developing new resources addressing life after residency and the transition to attending physician. As a RAMS member-at-large I will work to develop information and resources regarding employment, academic contributions from a community setting, job searches, and contracts including contract negotiations. Finally, if elected, I intend to work with my colleagues in creating online informative lectures and discussions on topics that are of interest to our members such as leadership development, developing strong lectures for resident conference, initiating research projects with limited resources, and more.

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 residents and medical students of RAMS 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!

Wendy W. Sun, MD
Yale – New Haven Health

W SunHello! I’m currently a PGY-1 at Yale – New Haven Health. I went to Virginia Commonwealth University for medical school and studied biomedical engineering at Columbia University for undergrad. I’ve been involved with RAMS since its inaugural year and currently serve on the RAMS board as well as co-chair the Speed Mentoring event at SAEM20. I was also previously a medical student ambassador at SAEM17 and SAEM19.

It has truly been a joy to serve on the RAMS board this past year, furthering diversity and inclusion through the creation of the diversity and inclusion subcommittee, two medical student ambassador scholarships, and fostering new collaborations with SAEM academies. If re-elected, I hope to continue advancing diversity and inclusion by listening to members on what they believe is important and making those initiatives a priority. In addition, I hope to connect RAMS members with opportunities so that the experience will enable them to not only better EM but become future leaders. Lastly, one of the most unique things about RAMS is its ties with the larger SAEM community. I hope to take advantage of that special connection for RAMS members by piloting a mentorship program. It would be such an honor to serve on the RAMS board again. 


Thomas Martin
The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

T MartinI’m a second-year medical student at Brown University and a practicing paramedic in the State of Rhode Island with seven years of prehospital experience overall. While my experience with SAEM boards and committees has been limited to one term on the RAMS Research Committee, I have served locally as an appointed member of university committees, including the Public Safety Oversight Committee, and previously directed student executive boards at Brown University EMS where I was able to advance longitudinal mentorship programs for premedical students.

Throughout my education, I’ve been fortunate to find mentors through SAEM and my home institution that have helped me shape broad experiences, and occasional work frustrations, into actionable research questions with local impact. Most recently, I was proud to be part of a team investigating unrecognized esophageal intubations in Rhode Island EMS and working to change local protocols. These experiences have transformed my understanding of what it means to practice academic medicine and the difficulties that can accompany the dissemination and implementation of your findings.

Medical students across the country are in a prime position to engage with and bridge similar gaps between the advancement of our field and local progress in our communities. If elected to serve on the RAMS Board for the 2020-2021 term, my first goal would be helping to create and expand programs that support the remote mentorship of junior students who lack local access to the strong, engaging role models found in our broader SAEM/RAMS community. There are so many issues and challenges for us to address in 2020, and so many medical students who could benefit from early engagement by this organization! Thank you for your consideration.

Ryan D. Pappal
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

R PappalFirst, my background:

  • Born and raised in New Jersey then Texas
  • Undergraduate: Rice University (Biochemistry & Psychology)
  • Member of Leadership Board of Rice Emergency Medical Services
  • Paramedic for three years at Rice EMS
  • Medical School: Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
  • Have completed M1 and M2 years
  • Currently doing a gap year to get a Masters in Clinical Investigation (MSCI)
  • Working on study of awareness in mechanically-ventilated ED patients

After this academic year, I will enter my M3 year

On a whim I joined the SAEM RAMS Research Committee  two years ago and I have loved my experience helping on various research-oriented projects. What has struck me has been the quality and kindness of the people within the RAMS community. All of my mentors and fellow medical student members on the RAMS Research Committee have helped guide me and they are a big part of why I am motivated to serve as a medical student representative. 

Influenced by my current track studying clinical research, my goals as a medical student representative are:

To make the availability of clinical research degrees more well-known to medical students in SAEM and RAMS who are interested in emergency medicine research

To highlight and expand on RAMS programs designed to give both medical students and residents a more formal introduction to emergency medicine research

To investigate and address some of the unique barriers to performing emergency medicine research for SAEM and RAMS members, based on our unique patient population

To aid the RAMS Board in expanding on its mission to give both residents and medical students a greater voice not only within SAEM, but within the field of emergency medicine as well

As a former chair of the research committee at my former university, a leader of Washington University’s EMIG and EM simulation program, and a current student of clinical research in my gap year, I hope to bring a unique skill set to the RAMS board. It would be an honor to serve you all, and I hope to get your vote!

Dhriti Sooryakumar
The Ohio State University

D SooryakumarHello! I am a current medical student at The Ohio State University. I graduated with my Bachelor’s in Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University and my Master of Science in Biotechnology and Drug Development, also  from Johns Hopkins University. I am truly honored and thrilled to be nominated for a position on the RAMS board as a medical student representative.

Emergency medicine has been an interest of mine since my undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins University when I served as an emergency first responder for two years. Since my undergraduate career, I have had numerous emergency medicine experiences both locally and abroad. Following my undergraduate career, I began taking medical mission trips to Central America. I found a passion for global medicine and took a position as medical/dental program advisor for Global Brigades (the world’s largest student-led international health organization) for 4.5 years prior to and during medical school. During this time, I also created the first-ever surgical program for the organization while living in Honduras. Between my second and third years of medical school, I worked in refugee camps for nearly six  months in acute medical situations. I experienced the thrill of emergency medicine in a global setting and am certain that many medical students and residents would also enjoy opportunities to participate in global health emergency medicine scenarios. If elected to serve on the RAMS board, I would work towards increasing global health opportunities for medical students and residents.

I would also work towards creating an advising system and connecting various campus emergency medicine interest groups. I think it would be great to have regional mini-gatherings and leadership conferences for medical students and residents during the year, in order to better connect campus emergency medicine chapters to share ideas, learning opportunities, and resources. I have significant experience in bringing together hundreds of campus chapters in such a manner during the time I spent working as a medical program advisor for Global Brigades. During this time, I advised nearly 100 midwest and east coast university chapters of Global Brigades in fundraising initiatives, campu,s and regional outreach initiatives, and gathering of medications and equipment resources. I held webinars and advised university chapter leaders closely. I think it would be great to create a regional advising system for EMIGs, connecting them with SAEM and RAMS faculty and board advisors. 

I also have significant leadership experience in fundraising initiatives and in directing campus chapters in the organization of major events, creating educational and promotional materials and brochures, as well as executive direction of new programs. During my tenure as medical program advisor, I was able to acquire medical and surgical equipment donations of significant value for donation to local Honduran hospitals.

If elected to serve on the RAMS board, I would like to create an advising system for campus EMIGs, help individual campus EM interest groups in fundraising and outreach initiatives, help them expand exposure to EM for medicals students starting first year, and help further available equipment and resources. I would like to work towards arranging regional conferences for campus emergency medicine interest groups and residents. I have strong experience in global health and would work towards expanding global health emergency medicine opportunities for medical students and residents to participate in short and long term.

I thank you for your consideration and hope I may have the honor to serve our board and emergency medicine residents and medical students around the country and world!

Connor Stephenson
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

C StephensonI am a third year medical student at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois. I attended the University of Kentucky prior to medical school, receiving a degree in chemistry and a degree in biology. I began scribing in the emergency department through the university hospital during my second year of undergraduate. This is when I developed my passion for emergency medicine. During my three years in medical school, this passion has developed further through new knowledge garnered through the classroom, research, and first-hand clinical learning.

I would be honored to represent my fellow medical students on the RAMS board. I have extensive experience with representing my peers. I represented my classmates to the administration as class chair from 2017 to 2019 and I currently represent patients and the medical professionals of Southern Illinois to the American Cancer Society as a board member. I take representation seriously and this would continue into the RAMS board if I were elected.

In addition to working with SAEM to best serve and bring opportunities to EM-bound medical students, I would work with the Mentorship and Career Development Committee on developing mentoring opportunities. The best way to develop as learners and physicians is the open sharing of ideas with colleagues. Many schools have internal mentoring programs; however, students benefit from an outside perspective provided by a learner at another institution. I have set up programs like this when I was president and founder of a chemistry fraternity at the University of Kentucky. I have also aided existing programs like this at my own medical school.

I appreciate your valuable time in reading this and casting your vote. I am eager to serve on the RAMS board if given this wonderful opportunity. I promise to represent the medical students of SAEM to the best of my ability. I also promise to work on developing mentoring opportunities for interested learners. I look forward to serving you and future emergency medicine learners.

Sriram Venkatesan
University of Colorado and Sri Ramachandra University, India 

S VenkatesanBorn and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, I’m currently an MS4 at the University of Colorado Denver. I have an extensive leadership background dating back to high school, where I served as my school’s chapter president for the Health Occupations for Students of America (HOSA) organization. During my time in India for medical school, I established and led the first official emergency medicine interest group (EMIG) in India, at my school, and worked on a model framework for other schools in India to follow. I also worked with the National Disaster Life Support Foundation (NDLSF) in developing a custom curriculum for our EMS personnel and physicians, which paved the way to starting a disaster response team later for the city. 

I was first introduced to SAEM when I started working on SAEM’s social emergency medicine initiative, socialempact.com. I have had the privilege of working on their advocacy team, and helping improve their website. Currently, I have been working on bringing out my expertise with the EMS curriculum back home and working on a SAEM’s official EMS curriculum for medical students and resident electives. 

If given a chance to represent medical students and residents on the RAMS Board, I hope to accomplish the following as medical student representative: 

  • Bridge the gap in communication between EM-bound U.S. medical students and residents and foreign medical students and residents, especially non-Caribbean international students. 
  • Establish a new database of EM programs and EMIGs around the world, forge contacts within each program, and keep them in the loop on a regular basis to provide updates. 
  • Achieve record membership from new members abroad. 
  • Create opportunities for vital mentorship opportunities for those abroad who can’t come to our SAEM annual meetings. 
  • Improve on SAEM’s outdated educational materials by setting up a task force of volunteer medical students willing to help out in a creative way. 
  • Help the general mission and strategic plan for the RAMS board this year and help them achieve their goals. 

Based on my vast experience studying abroad, I bring tons of global experience to the table which would help us gain more membership though members abroad and improve SAEM’s market reach as a whole. I am very confident in my ability to serve in this role and excited to increase my involvement with SAEM and RAMS.


Isha Agarwal, MD, PhD
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

I AgarwalI am a second-year emergency medicine resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I previously completed an MD-PhD in epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. During graduate school, I successfully wrote an NIH F30 grant application for my PhD research.  After medical school, I worked for two years as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group’s healthcare practice. In this role, I collaborated with executive leadership in a variety of settings, including pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, hospitals, and physician groups, and gained industry experience. I am passionate about emergency medicine research and operations and hope to have a career in academic emergency medicine. \

My goal is to give residents and medical students stronger representation within the SAEM community.  Specifically, I hope to create annual meeting programming specifically designed to tackle questions facing residents and medical students, including mentorship, career development, and leadership opportunities. I also hope to increase engagement between RAMS and the SAEM board to increase the visibility of RAMS and its members.  

Liza Hartofilis, MD
NewYork-Presbyterian - Columbia and Cornell

E HartofilisI received my BA with high honors from Princeton University in 2004, during which time I played Division I Women’s Lacrosse and was fortunate to be an NCAA finalist and national Champion in three of four years. After graduating, I enjoyed a nearly seven-year career in public finance investment banking at JPMorgan, becoming a vice president and helping non-profit institutions, mainly hospital systems and governments, access credit markets to fund mission-driven projects. I was also a volunteer EMT in my hometown. In 2007, while continuing my EMT volunteer efforts, I moved to South Africa on a fellowship to consult with South Africa’s Department of Health on its HIV program and how to build-in operational efficiencies nationwide. And 

When I returned to JPMorgan, I completed my post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies at Columbia University, while becoming co-director of a non-profit whose mission is to provide sustainable healthcare in Zambia. I left finance to attend SUNY Downstate Medical School where I was CFO of and on the executive committee for the Brooklyn Free Clinic where I wrote and managed two grants to fund a sustainable free pharmacy program. I was also president of the Global Health Club and started the first Global Health course and Global Health Week, and served as team captain for Downstate’s first appearance at the Emory University Global Health Case Competition. I graduated as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society in 2016.

As a resident, I founded and chair the Resident Special Operations Committee alongside Columbia’s Vice Chair of Operations, and was charged with managing multidisciplinary projects and teams to boost operational efficiencies in ED workflows. I also attended the 2019 Architecture of High Value Health Care Conference to further explore initiatives around value-based care. Similarly, I started and am co-director of the program’s first Female Resident Professional Development Group, bringing together faculty and residents across two large academic campuses to help women find mentors, network, and navigate female-specific issues within EM. Finally, I am the NYP representative on the NY ACEP Resident Committee, promoting resident training and education at the state and national levels. 

My experience with SAEM has been limited to date; however, I was able to attend the annual meeting in 2019 during which I participated in the Administration and Clinical Operations Meeting.  I look forward to hopefully engaging and adding value in a more meaningful way through this endeavor. This opportunity with SAEM provides an incredible national platform from which I would continue and advance my work advocating for residents and trying to integrate us into the larger workings and network of academic emergency medicine beyond individual patient interactions and day-to-day care.  The role represents a tremendous responsibility and is one I would bring the utmost dedication and hard work, in an effort to continue to advance emergency medicine and its residents.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Andrew Kamilaris, MD
University of Massachusetts Medical Center

A KamilarisI am a second-year resident hoping to serve as the resident member of the SAEM Board of Directors for 2020-2021. My pathway to emergency medicine started as a high school student in New Jersey when I became an EMT at age 16. From there I completed my undergraduate degree at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania in neuroscience with a minor in healthcare and society. I subsequently earned my MD at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. I’ve held various leadership positions throughout these formative years including Eagle Scout, interprofessional emergency medicine interest group board member, and head resident advisor. Through these experiences I have learned the art of teamwork, clear communication, and dedication in order to achieve a common goal. 

SAEM recognizes the value of advancing education and research for current and training emergency physicians. This mission resonates with my own, as I too hope to one day become an educator for future emergency physicians. I am excited to work toward this goal and carry out this mission by serving on the SAEM Board of Directors. Some goals I would like to accomplish for the coming year include increasing mentorship for medical students interested in emergency medicine, offering networking opportunities for medical students and residents for career planning and mentorship, increasing resident participation in SAEM, and helping to develop wellness curricula for residency programs. Our field is one of the most exciting and progressive in the house of medicine, and SAEM is an essential organization in advancing our field. I am proud to be a member of SAEM and training in the best specialty in medicine. I hope to have the opportunity to work toward these goals as a member of the board. Thank you for your consideration!

Nehal Naik, MD
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences

N NaikI’m an immigrant to the United States and a Californian at heart. I graduated from UC Berkeley in 2010, and received my MD from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. I currently serve as your SAEM Resident and Medical Student (RAMS) board president and SAEM Global Emergency Medicine Academy (GEMA) resident representative since May 2019. I was also on the  inaugural RAMS Board from 2017-2018. 

As RAMS president, I’ve served our members by supporting their careers in academic emergency medicine and grown our preeminent organization for trainees in academic EM. Now I hope to build upon that work as a part of the SAEM Board through accomplishing the following:

  • Advocate for our residents to the changing landscape of EM! Our future in EM faces new and unique challenges. I’ll ensure that the SAEM board is preemptive in its response to these issues including workforce changes, resident wellness, residency closures, and ACGME changes. When new issues arise, I’ll help ensure that the resident voice is always a part of a swift and effective response from SAEM.
  • Provide mentorship and opportunities that are personal! On the SAEM board, I’ll be a liaison to various academies and committees, but my goal will be for residents to be leaders at every level of SAEM.
  • Build more avenues for resident research and education support! SAEM does a great job supporting resident research. I’ll ensure that residents are core to SAEM’s funding priorities.
  • Enhance the diversity and inclusion (D&I) priorities of SAEM! I’ll help ensure that SAEM’s growing focus on D&I is inclusive of residents and address the challenges that face our URM/LGBT residents.
  • Work for resident wellness! The stresses of residency can often be forgotten after graduating. I will advocate for SAEM to push for greater organizational and structural changes in EM residency that impact wellness, and not just focus on personal factors.