Erik P. Hess MD MSc was born in New York City and grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. Raised
in a family that highly valued education and hard work, he left Tennessee to attend college in
Wheaton, Illinois where he graduated magna cum laude with a major in philosophy. He
subsequently obtained his Medical Doctorate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
(UAB) and completed residency training in Emergency Medicine and fellowship training in
Critical Care Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. Through these training experiences he developed a
passion for academic scholarship and subsequently transitioned to Ottawa, Canada where he
obtained a Master of Science in Epidemiology under the mentorship of Dr. Ian Stiell, one of the
top 5 researchers in Emergency Medicine. He then returned to the Mayo Clinic in 2008 where he
joined the faculty. uring his time at Mayo, he established the Division of Research in the
Department of Emergency Medicine which he led as Vice Chair. His research program
developed and tested in multicenter randomized trials patient-centered decision aids for high
volume emergency conditions such as possible acute coronary syndrome and pediatric minor
head injury. Having established himself as a shared decision-making expert in emergency
medicine, he served as Co-Chair of a national consensus conference sponsored by the Society for
Academic Emergency Medicine that sparked a specialty-wide conversation around shared
decision-making in emergency care and developed a consensus-based future research agenda. In
the process of leading clinical trials and serving as co-Chair of a national consensus conference,
Dr. Hess developed a passion for influencing individuals and health systems to reenvision and
reengineer the emergency care experience from the patient’s perspective. He was subsequently
recruited to the UAB Department of Emergency Medicine as Vice Chair of Research, where his
patient-centered focus was galvanized by the need to mitigate healthcare disparities in
emergency care so that each patient is treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their
personal characteristics or how they enter the health system. While at UAB, he collaborated with
community and health department leaders to develop a program to address opioid addiction in
Jefferson County. It is this passion that he brings to VUMC, along with a desire to pay forward
the investment others have made in his development and launch leaders who pour themselves out
for others to make a difference.

Erik Hess, MD, MSc

Professor and Chair of Emergency Medicine


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