About Us

Program Mission

The Program Director, staff, and emergency medicine faculty of the Department of Emergency Medicine are committed to providing the highest quality emergency medicine education to students and residents. By consistently adhering to national educational standards, by successful innovation, and by motivating individuals to achieve to their highest potential we strive to develop professional, practice-ready emergency medicine specialist physicians.


Program Goals
  • We will consistently fill our emergency medicine training program with the highest quality medical student and maintain academic diversity.
  • We will utilize a curriculum and evaluation plan that enables each resident to become practice-ready by obtaining competency in the six emergency medicine specific core competencies.
  • We will prepare our graduates to succeed in a professional leadership position.
  • We will assure quality and demonstrate quality improvements.


Training Philosophy

The purpose of the Department of Emergency Medicine is threefold: patient care, teaching, and research. The attending staff believes that patient care is the basis of our existence and that excellence of patient care will lead to and promote equal excellence in the other two areas. For this reason, the house staff must understand that we commit them to the same purpose and priorities.

It has always been the philosophy of this department, as well as that of the American College of Emergency Physicians, that Emergency Medicine is a specialty in its own right, and that it is best learned primarily within the Emergency Department under the guidance of senior Emergency Physicians.

As a faculty, we all reflect on our formal training in medicine and know that somehow we made the transition from being a student in a classroom to being a seasoned clinician caring for patients. We spent years acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to function as a physician, and part of that learning was accomplished by following examples and by trial and error. Most of us are still learning how to be better “professionals,” but we are building on a foundation that was developed in medical school and early postgraduate training. These educational and training environments have changed substantially in recent years, so it is pertinent to ask whether we are cultivating in current students and residents the professional behaviors we would seek should we need medical care.

When teaching students our core values, we must consider the real world in which they will work and live. This broad concept of teaching includes three basic actions: setting expectations, providing experiences, and evaluating outcomes.

In addition to the provision of emergency care and training resident physicians, the faculty of the Department of Emergency Medicine actively participate in organized medicine, academic emergency medicine, hold hospital leadership positions, and provide clinical service contracts to emergency medicine-related agencies.


History of the Department

The Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville, established in 1971, is the second oldest full academic Department of Emergency Medicine in the United States. The Emergency Medicine residency-training program enrolled its first resident on June 1, 1972 and was granted approval for six residents in each year of a two-year program. At that time, Dr. Donald M. Thomas, founder and former chair, directed and developed what was known as the Emergency Service of Louisville, which was essentially a few dedicated treatment rooms. His contributions in terms of resident education, training and the development of emergency systems were instrumental and laid the groundwork for generations of physicans to come.

In 1991, Dr. Daniel F. Danzl assumed the chair position and continued to move the program forward to its current status of twelve resident positions in each year of a three-year program that is housed at a state-of the-art facility. His expertise in the specialty, numerous publications and contributions to national emergency medicine organizations provided the impetus for growth and leadership as the department continues to meet the challenges of patient care, education and research.

Our current chair, Dr. J. Jeremy Thomas, assumed the position in 2020. With the formation of U of L Health and the acquisition of multiple regional hospitals, our department will provide an ever-expanding and improving clinical environment to train the next generation of emergency physicians.