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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. During his time at Mayo, he established the Division of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine which he led as Vice Chair. In the process of leading clinical trials and serving as co-Chair of a national consensus conference on shared decision-making, 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 healthcare system. 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

Department Chair
Clinical Service Chief
Professor of Emergency Medicine

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