New Faculty Q&A: Dr. Matthew VandeHei

Q&A with Matthew VandeHei, MD (he/him), clinical assistant professor, Division of Emergency Ultrasound

Matthew VandeHeiHometown: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Educational background: I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where I also attended medical school. I then moved to Colorado for my emergency medicine residency at the Denver Health Medical Center, and returned to Madison last year for a fellowship in advanced emergency ultrasound here with the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine.

What is your area of clinical interest, and how did you get into it? My main interest is emergency department (ED)-performed ultrasound-guided nerve blocks. As a resident, I witnessed an interscalene nerve block for a shoulder dislocation, and it seemed like magic when I watched gravity pull the patient’s shoulder back into place with absolutely zero pain. From that time on I became interested in using this “magic” to alleviate pain in the emergency department.

How would you describe your work to a 5-year-old? I use a magical machine called an ultrasound to see straight into your body to figure out what is making you sick.

What attracted you to UW–Madison? I fell in love with the city while attending UW–Madison for both undergrad and medical school. I’m excited to be back in the Midwest where I’m closer to its many lakes as well as my extended family.

What is your favorite thing to do in Madison? While mountains are amazing, nothing beats a day floating on the lake!

What’s one thing you hope trainees will learn from you and your work? That there is always time to squeeze in a quick POCUS (point-of-care ultrasound) and that every time a patient has acute traumatic pain, care providers should consider a nerve block.

First job: In high school, I was a fire alarm inspector during the summer months.

Most unusual job: I refereed intramural soccer during undergrad despite never actually playing soccer competitively.

What are some of your hobbies and other interests? Anything where I get to hang out with my dogs, including hiking, going to dog parks, and lots of lake days.

If you could have dinner with one person (passed, alive or fictional), who and at where would you make reservations? Chicken wings with Chris Farley. I’d love to experience his energy and personality in person.