Message from the Chief Residents

As the 2019-2020 Chief Residents, we would like to welcome you to the UT Southwestern Emergency Medicine Residency Program! Our residency program is located in Dallas, Texas, which allows residents to choose from urban, metro, or rural living depending on their preference. Our mission is one of public service, leadership in the community, and education. Our faculty, residents, and staff rise to the occasion when our county is in need; we arduously organized to protect our citizens when our city became the epicenter of the Ebola crisis and we tirelessly served our community when domestic terrorists attacked our citizens and police officers. As Emergency Medicine physicians, we treat everyone and everything. Our residency program gives its residents the keys to success, helping to mold well-balanced emergency physicians that end up in academic and community medicine, in various fellowships across the country, and as future leaders within the field. There is a niche here for all career aspirations.

Our home base, Parkland Hospital, hosts the largest Emergency Department by size and was the second busiest ED in the country in 2018. Additionally, Parkland is home to a regional pediatric and adult burn center (and the origin of the Parkland burn formula), a Level 1 adult trauma center, and some of the premier internal medicine, surgery, and Ob/Gyn programs in the country. We are fortunate to have a new Parkland Hospital that opened in 2015 that allows us to work in a top-notch facility. As Parkland is a county hospital, working there gives us the privilege to care for the underserved and truly make a difference in the community.

We also work in Children's Medical Center Dallas; one of two Level 1 pediatric trauma centers in Texas, where we train with world-renowned pediatric EM faculty. There, the pediatric experience is second to none. Additionally, we train at UT Southwestern's William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. At Clements University Hospital, residents rotate through the CVICU and Emergency Department at Clements giving us an even more well-rounded experience, from seeing an iron lung outside of the museums to learning about LVAD patients requiring acute stabilization.

What We Have to Offer

Cutting Edge Conference

We have Conference Series every Thursday from 7:30-11:30 am. Residents are excused from clinical duties in all EDs during this time. In addition to a standard, traditional lecture-based conference, we also have added “Flipped Conferences.” These involve problem-based learning (PBL) cases going over topics in a small group setting with residents serving as group leaders with faculty oversight. We have also worked to tailor more level specific lectures, i.e.: 1st years receive more “bread and butter” foundation lectures and 3rd years will have more talks on billing, contracts, and fine tuning their practice. This year, we have also adopted the Foundations Curriculum, initially developed in collaboration with, and adopted by, many top residencies across the country. Foundations sets specific goals and objectives with suggested reading, podcasts, and video series for each resident class year with oral board style cases reviewed in a small group setting during certain conference weeks. This keeps conference fresh and fun with less sitting in the traditional PowerPoint lecture setting.

Asynchronous Learning

Each week, we allow one hour of Independent learning. The residents have a comprehensive list of options to learn at their own pace, on their own time. As emergency physicians, we know that we learn best by doing, not by sitting in a classroom. 

Resident-Led Activities

Residents are extremely active in our program in leadership roles. They are actively engaged in committees including Quality Review of ED Cases, EMR Management, Simulation Training, Wellness and Sports, Alumni Involvement, Social Media, Curriculum Design, and Community Work. Residents of all years are very active during the recruitment season that even features interns interviewing in order to help build the future team of successful UTSW residents. Resident leaders are also given the task of teaching during our PBL group sessions with faculty supervision. Senior residents take the lead teaching medical students as part of our teaching resident rotation.


The Department of Emergency Medicine offers fellowship programs in Simulation Based Medical Education, Emergency Clinical Ultrasound, Emergency Medical Services, Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Emergency Disaster and Global Health, Medical Education, and Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine. Whether you are set on a fellowship or are unsure, we have many options available.

Global Health Rotations

Opportunities are available for residents to rotate through clinical settings in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Thailand, New Zealand, and Malawi. Our New Zealand rotation is by far the most popular and involves working 2 months in a community type environment with compensation!

Amazing Faculty

The Chair of our Department, Dr. Deborah Diercks, was SAEM President from 2015-2016 and our Executive Vice Chair, Dr. Mark Courtney, was also an SAEM President.. We have two past ACEP presidents on staff, and more than a dozen board certified toxicologists. The chair of our IRB is one of our own. Many of our faculty members are double and triple board certified.

Resident Participation in Statewide and National Organized Medicine

We have residents serving in a variety of positions at the national level and state level. Our residents serve as representatives to SAEM, Texas College of Emergency Physicians (TCEP), the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and the Texas Medical Association. This year, three of our residents were accepted to the TCEP Leadership and Advocacy Fellowship and several of our residents serve in institutional committees. 

Community Hospital Rotations

We partner closely with other hospitals across the DFW metroplex so residents can experience community EM in Level 2 trauma centers, single coverage EDs, and combined PEM/Adult EM Departments.


We have a resident-run Wellness Committee that organizes monthly social events and helps maintain a good balance of fun during residency. Our Wellness activities include: Bowl and Barrel nights, crawfish boils, new intern welcome dinner, volleyball team, Resident of the Month award pins, EM Wellness Week, class day off once a year, Karaoke night, and many more. 


Zachary Aust, M.D.
Rebecca Briggs, M.D.
Justin Evans, M.D.
Alan John, M.D.
Carlos Trigo, M.D.

Chief Residents 2019-2020