The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine offers a fellowship for physicians interested in Critical Care Transport and Helicopter EMS (HEMS) with the UW Health Med Flight program. The fellowship provides the experience necessary to prepare future HEMS medical directors for this complex role.
Founded in 1985, UW Health Med Flight is among the most highly recognized and established critical care transport services in the country and among the few that have flown full-time with a physician-nurse-pilot flight crew configuration since day one. Med Flight’s long history and its status as a model for programs across the country pairs with the University of Wisconsin’s well-regarded and fully accredited EM residency program to form the foundation for the fellowship.
The one-year fellowship is primarily aimed at individuals interested in building their academic and administrative expertise by focusing on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the medical direction of a HEMS program. The rapid expansion of helicopter programs in the U.S. over the last decade necessitates a strong need for experienced medical direction. Medical directors oversee these programs to ensure that staff is properly trained and appropriate medical utilization of HEMS programs is being followed.
A primary component of this fellowship is flight experience. In order to be effective, HEMS program medical directors must understand the capabilities and limitations of the environment in which flight crews work. This is true for both the aviation and medical aspects of the program. Many residents may find themselves matched to EM programs that offer either no flight experience or very limited ride-along experiences that do not provide adequate background to be effective. This fellowship provides significant flight experience by placing the fellow as the sole flight physician responsible for patient care in our nurse-pilot-physician flight team.
While critical, flight experience is just one facet of the fellowship. Clinical experience is supplemented with adequate grounding in the administrative, academic and research components of both flight and emergency medicine programs at a major academic medical center. The Med Flight fellowship includes training in all of these areas.
Our fellows also participate in Medical Director courses at AMTC’s annual conference and take part in the collaborative and translational research available at the nationally regarded University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
» Compensation & Benefits
Comprehensive health and supplemental benefits and a competitive salary are offered. Fellows are also eligible to receive financial support to attend relevant educational courses, conferences, or to use toward a master’s degree.
Available Positions: 1-2
Program Length: 1 year
Start Date: July 1, 2024
NRMP Match: No
Appointment: Clinical Instructor
Clinical shifts per month: 8 Med Flight + 6 ED
What is it like to complete a fellowship in Helicopter EMS and Critical Care Transport?
Med Flight Fellow Dr. Matthew Stampfl gives an informative interview about his experience with the American College of Emergency Physicians – ACEP’s Young Physicians Section.
Dr. Stampfl, a graduate of our three-year emergency medicine residency (Class of 2022), takes us on a journey that gives us a clearer picture of a typical day, his perspectives about the program the UW Health Med Flight fellowship program and what makes it unique from other helicopter EMS fellowships, and some words of advice for individuals considering applying to the program.
About Med Flight
UW Health Med Flight is a premier air and ground critical care transport and retrieval service that has served the upper Midwest for over 35 years and logs more than 1,700 transports per year. Our program is CAMTS-accredited and has long been recognized in air medical circles for its success in providing one of the safest air medical transport services in the country.
Offering the highest level of critical care transport in the Midwest, Med Flight is an integral resource for our hospital system and region, capable of safely moving critically ill patients from scene to hospital and between hospital facilities. We can bring advanced therapies to patients at outside facilities, including inhaled Nitric Oxide and ECMO cannulation, and transport them to a UW Health hospital or other capable healthcare facility.
The fellow will work closely with an expert team of emergency medicine physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, and specialty providers with critical care training to provide adult and pediatric critical care transport by ground and air. Med Flight operates out of three regional bases and transports via three EC-145 aircraft and two critical care ambulances 24/7/365.
We partner with leading FAA-certified and industry-accredited Metro Aviation, Inc. to maintain, operate and pilot all aircraft, and we are one of only a few programs in the country to transport with a licensed physician routinely on board. Our ground ambulances transport patients of any age and are equipped as mobile ICU/NICU, and we also operate a busy air and ground Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Transport Program.
Med Flight’s clinical operations are housed within UW Health, the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. UW Health’s University Hospital is a busy Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center, Certified Burn Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, and Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) Certified Center with numerous specialty clinics. For the 10th consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” ranked University of Wisconsin Hospitals, which includes University Hospital and East Madison Hospital, as No. 1 in Wisconsin.
Andrew Cathers, MD, FAMPA
Medical Director, UW Health Med Flight
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
A native of Rhode Island, Dr. Cathers attended medical school at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Medical School emergency medicine residency program. He completed a fellowship in flight medicine with UW Health Med Flight at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics and has experience as a community physician, having worked at Beloit Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Cathers holds board certification in both emergency medicine and EMS, and he has been published papers and presented educational sessions locally, nationally, and internationally, including serving as an instructor at the prestigious UK Anesthesia, Trauma, and Critical Care (ATACC) course. His educational interests include resident training, continuing education of attending physicians, advanced retrieval medicine, and airway management. He is a Fellow of the Air Medical Physician Association (FAMPA).
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Matthew Stampfl, MD (2022-2023)
Dr. Stampfl obtained his medical degree from the Baylor College of Medicine where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society and completed the Ethics and Global Health Pathways. He then completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Stampfl’s clinical interests include critical care, medical lecturing, and extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
AWARDS & HONORS
• Essentials of Emergency Medicine/Hippo EM Education Fellow (2022)
• Commendation for Excellence in Scholarship, BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine (2021)
• Resident Representative, Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians Board of Directors (2021-2022)
Zachary Forcade, MD (2021-2022)
Dr. Forcade obtained his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine where he completed the Rural and Underserved in Medicine Pathway. He then completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin where he also served as chief resident. Dr. Forcade’s clinical interests include critical care, underserved populations, and prehospital medicine.
Madison Tustian, MD (2021-2022)
Dr. Tustian completed medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit before completing emergency medicine residency here at the University of Wisconsin. Her clinical interests include critical care transport and ultrasound.
Allie Hurst, MD, MS (2020-2021)
Dr. Irene “Allie” Hurst is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine (PEM) physician and flight physician consultant with UW Med Flight. She completed her pediatric residency training at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago with Northwestern University, a pediatric emergency medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Colorado through the University of Colorado, and a Med Flight and critical care transport fellowship at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. She also completed a graduate degree in clinical research at The Dartmouth Institute prior to starting medical school.
Her research interests focus on adolescent health, specifically child sex trafficking and substance abuse. She became interested in Med Flight during her PEM fellowship in Colorado and has interests in pediatric critical care retrieval/transport education and operations.
Dr. Hurst’s interests outside of work include bicycle racing, cooking, and surfing Lake Michigan.
Prior to 2020
Eric Ohlrogge, MD (2020-21)
Jordan Imoehl, MD (2019-20)
Nick Lepa, MD (2019-20)
Britton Hopkins, MD (2018-19)
Conrad Williamson, MD (2018-19)
Brian Jennett, MD (2017-18)
Andrew Cathers, MD (2015-16)
Cynthia Griffin, DO (2014-15)
Ashley Brown, MD (2012-13)
Sabina Modelska, MD (2011-12)
How to Apply
Email your CV, a personal statement detailing your research interests and career aspirations, and 2-3 letters of recommendation to Andrew Cathers, MD, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates must have graduated in good standing from an ACGME-accredited emergency medicine residency program and must be board-certified or board-eligible in emergency medicine.