Emergency Medicine Promoted to Departmental Status

Eighteen years after its creation, the Section of Emergency Medicine has been elevated to full departmental status within the Yale School of Medicine.

Formerly part of the Department of Surgery, Emergency Medicine now stands on its own at Yale, a reflection of its evolution and excellence as an academic discipline, says Dr. Robert Alpern, dean of the School of Medicine.

The decision to grant this new status for Emergency Medicine came at the June meeting of the Yale Corporation, which based its action on the unanimous recommendation of a medical school faculty committee that met last fall to evaluate the issue.

The committee — led by Dr. Margaret K. Hostetter, the Jean McLean Wallace Professor and chair of the Department of Pediatrics — examined the department’s activities in research, teaching and clinical service as well as its impact on the field nationally.

The move became effective July 1, making Emergency Medicine the 28th department at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Gail D’Onofrio, who has been serving as section chief, will continue to lead as chair of the new department. She is also chief of adult emergency services for Yale-New Haven Hospital.

In a letter to the School of Medicine community, Alpern wrote, “This is a momentous occasion for our colleagues in Emergency Medicine.” He added, “I would also like to express the school’s gratitude to the Department of Surgery and its chair, Dr. Robert Udelsman, who facilitated the evolution of the section to a level of excellence worthy of departmental status.”

The department’s 33 faculty members are responsible for more than 90,000 patient visits per year. Several senior faculty have achieved national recognition for their research and teaching.

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