Message from the Chief

A common question I receive from those not so familiar with Emergency Medicine (EM) here at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital is, “As Chief, what is your vision for the program?”

I usually reply that “my” vision is not just mine – it is that common vision shared by all of my faculty, residents, administrative support staff, nurses, students, technicians, hospital support personnel, paramedics, and the many others working beside us at this wonderful institution. We all share the same philosophy of Mission as well.

So what is our vision and mission?

Our Vision

Our common vision is that the UT Southwestern Medical Center–Parkland EM program will continue to be at the cutting edge of Emergency Medicine and all of its numerous subspecialties, special duties, and avocations. It continues to perennially garner all of the resources and nationally recognized innovators that help us to do so – and it is through our common Mission that we have realized that vision.

The Mission

We believe that our mission is at the heart of the art and science of medicine -- because it is a mission of public service. From the clerical staff to the faculty; from nurses to technicians; and from administrative staff to residents; we all believe:

Regardless of background and demeanor, time or day, or severity of illness or injury, every single patient seeking our help will receive the same uncompromising and compassionate care that we would want for our own loved ones.

This is the philosophy for which we strive and it is the philosophy that we plan to disseminate.

We would always want our own loved ones cared for with the most up-to-date, cutting-edge, and cost-effective care. Therefore, it is our academic mission to continually research best practices and innovations, and then properly teach and disseminate them responsibly. We like to say that we provide the best “care” – not treatment or management --- because“caring” is what we do.

We also like to say that this is not just a teaching institution -- it is a “learning institution.” So we strive to focus on resident and faculty development and innovative educational techniques to maximize learning. We also like to learn from each case we encounter -- both individually and collectively.

Accordingly, we also like to routinely stress that we are “public servants. Quite literally, we are. We are employed by the citizens of the State of Texas and our clinical and academic responsibilities revolve around their tax-dollar support. Regardless, our mission implies that we are here to serve those in need.

We also recognize that the emergency department is not our only focus of attention. Emergencies begin outside the hospital and the “care” we provide will need to begin there. Whether the eventual critical emergency occurs within the confines of our homes or on a rain-slicked, dusky roadside, we need to ensure and strengthen each link in our communities’ chains of survival and recovery.

In turn, we have also focused on mass CPR training, sophisticated research in 9-1-1 dispatch centers, expert tactical medicine response, and high-level clinical trials in the EMS setting. We have not only become uniquely and exceptionally funded to do so, but, literally, we have saved thousands of lives by committing to this key investment for the public trust.

In turn, we have already taken leadership roles, internationally, in medical toxicology, resuscitation research, disaster medicine, event medicine, observation medicine, and tactical medicine. The same will soon be true for our rapidly evolving emergency ultrasound, palliative care, and education practices programs and several other training initiatives.

Keep in mind that at the heart of all of these successes is the single most important ingredient --- the diverse group of brilliant, yet thoughtful, caring human beings who comprise our highly cohesive team and who fuel the energy for all of these innovative initiatives, not to mention our day-to-day “care.” The true excitement for me also lies in the promise that the future holds for this talented team and its next accomplishments

Paul E. Pepe, M.D.
Professor and Chief, Division of Emergency Medicine