Department Blog

Posted 12/2/2016 by Linda Kesselring

ECG Case Reports in Annals

Dr. Amal Mattu and his colleagues from the University of Virginia, the University of California San Francisco, and Oregon Health & Sciences University, have back-to-back electrocardiographic case reports in the December issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine. The first article (68:671-3) describes the assessment of a woman with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, who came to the emergency department when she experienced palpitations and weakness. The second report (68:674-7) describes a woman with hypertension and diabetes mellitus, who sought emergency treatment for chest pain, nausea, dyspnea, and diaphoresis. This column in Annals starts with a description of patients’ presentations, including the ECG, and asks the reader to reach a diagnosis before reading the experts’ analysis.

Posted 11/10/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Vehicular Crashes in Baltimore: Where and Why?

Zachary Dezman, MD, MS, and Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD, with colleagues from Duke University, published the article titled “Hotspots and Causes of Motor Vehicle Crashes in Baltimore, Maryland: A Geospatial Analysis of Five Years of Police Crash and Census Data” in the November issue of Injury.

Posted 10/25/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Cognitive Health and Risk of ED Revisit

Steve Schenkel, MD, MPP, and Teresa Kostelec, BSN, from the ED at Mercy Medical Center; Laura Pimentel, MD, CPME, Chief Medical Officer of the Maryland Emergency Medicine Network; and Ivonne Berges, PhD, and Glenn Ostir, PhD, from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, published the article titled “Cognitive Health and Risk of ED Revisit in Underserved Older Adults” in the October issue of the American Journal of Emergency Medicine (34[10]:1973?1976). Their study group, mostly African-American women with an average age of 75 years, had overall cognitive scores lower than population norms. The investigators found a significant association between cognitive health and the odds of return to the ED in 60 or 90 days. Their observations hold implications for the format and content of discharge instructions, especially for patients with impaired cognitive function.

Posted 10/21/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Assessing Hospital Readiness for Public Health Emergencies

Jon Mark Hirshon, MD, MPH, PhD, published the article titled “Using Timely Survey-Based Information Networks to Collect Data on Best Practices for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response: Illustrative Case from the American College of Emergency Physicians' Ebola Surveys,” which was published in the August issue of Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (10[4]:681‒690). Through the electronic distribution of surveys that assessed medical facilities’ readiness to assess and treat people infected with the Ebola virus, Dr. Hirshon and his co-authors, members of ACEP's Ebola Expert Panel, demonstrated the ability to monitor the delivery of health care during public health emergencies and to implement “real-time” modifications in health care processes as warranted by survey results.

Posted 10/19/2016 by Linda Kesselring

What's the Diagnosis? Case Report Published in Annals

A case report by Zachary Dezman, MD, MS, and Jennifer Reifel Saltzberg, MD, MPH, has been published in the "Images in Emergency Medicine" column of Annals of Emergency Medicine (2016;68:e77‒8). It describes a diabetic man with blisters on his hands. The diagnosis was the rare condition of bullosis diabeticorum.

Posted 10/7/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Dr. Weiss Presents Grand Rounds at Mass General

Larry D. Weiss, MD, JD, presented two Grand Rounds lectures at the Massachusetts General Hospital for the Department of Emergency Medicine of the Harvard University School of Medicine on September 20. His topics were "Risk Reduction in Emergency Medicine" and "Physician Practice Rights."

Posted 9/18/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Study Aimed at Reducing Ambulance Time at Hospital

An article by Ben Lawner, DO, MS, EMT-P, and medical students Megan Halliday and Andrew Bouland, was published in this month's issue of Western Journal of Emergency Medicine.  “The Medical Duty Officer: An Attempt to Mitigate the Ambulance At-Hospital Interval” describes their study, designed to improve communications within the local EMS system and decrease the amount of time ambulances spent at hospitals between transportsThey collaborated with Angela Comer, MPH, from the National Study Center for Emergency Medical Systems and Trauma, Daniel Ramos, from the Baltimore City Department of Social Services, and Mark Fletcher, a paramedic with the Baltimore City Fire Department on the study and the analysis of its results. 

Posted 9/16/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Dr. Mattu Keynotes at Australian Conference

Amal Mattu, MD, was the keynote speaker at Emergency Cardiology Update 2016, held in Melbourne, Australia, on September 10 and 11. He presented lectures on the electrocardiographic indications of cardiac ischemia, ST-elevation myocardial infarction, wide and narrow complex dysrhythmias, heart block, and acute cardiac syndrome as well as a review of recent cardiology articles, a case conference, and a concluding ECG quiz. The conference was designed for health care practitioners specializing in emergency medicine, general practitioners practicing in rural settings, and physicians seeking to refresh their expertise in emergency cardiology.

Posted 9/14/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Dr. Lawner Discusses Sobering Centers

Benjamin Lawner, DO, MS, EMT-P, was the guest on a recent Urgent Matters podcast produced at George Washington University, an interview series focused on the interface between emergency medicine and public health. Dr. Lawner was interviewed by Jesse Pines, MD, MBA, Director of GWU’s Center for Health Care Quality and Assurance, on the topic of sobering centers and the role of EMS in health care access. Their conversation can be heard at In addition to his faculty position, Ben is the Deputy EMS Director for the Baltimore City Fire Department. 

Posted 9/12/2016 by Linda Kesselring

Are Medical Students Ready for Internship?

Laura Bontempo, MD, along with colleagues from the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, published the article titled “Core Entrustable Professional Activities: A Survey of the Confidence of Fourth-Year Medical Students and Residency Program Directors” in the September issue of Medical Science Educator. Their analysis of surveys completed by 168 UMSoM graduates and 12 residency program directors revealed shared confidence regarding interns' ability to perform most of the professional activities expected of interns. Students expressed lowest confidence in their ability to take a history and perform a physical exam, to give or receive patient handoffs, and to identity system failures and thereby contribute to a culture of safety and improvment. These findings can be used to refine medical school curricula so as to address the 13 CEPAs, with consideration of specialty differences. The article is available at the journal's website: