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Welcome and thank you for your interest in our program! For decades, Vanderbilt Emergency Medicine has been a leader in education and clinical excellence. We are on a mission to train the future leaders in emergency care who will be ready for any job. Here at Vanderbilt, you will not only learn in one of the highest acuity EDs in the country, but you will also learn skills for managing your career, life, and wellness. I would invite you to explore our pages and learn more about our residency program. I would also encourage you to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to learn more about what is going on day-to-day here in Nashville and at Vandy.


Since 1992, the VUMC EM residency has been serving the complex needs of our region. Our vision is to leverage our unique training environments to train resident physicians to deliver timely, safe, effective, equitable, and personalized care to any patient, anytime, anywhere. Our graduates will be prepared for patient-centered leadership in the next generation of emergency care.


Vanderbilt University Medical Center is located in the heart of Nashville, TN. It is a quaternary care center serving the citizens of Tennessee in addition to parts of 4 neighboring states. VUMC is a leading research organization devoted to patient-centered research and receives research funding from many federal sources, Our department is a leader in emergency care research and enrolls thousands of patients per year in multiple high quality, multicenter studies. It is an NIH-designated comprehensive cancer center, comprehensive stroke center, and the only Level I adult trauma, Level I pediatric trauma, and comprehensive burn center in middle Tennessee. In addition to our residency program, VUMC is also home to more than ninety other training programs with over one thousand residents and fellows which means that you will learn alongside other superior trainees from across the country.  We look forward to hearing from you and thank you again for your interest in our program.




Matthew Pirotte 
Program Director 

Dr. Pirotte did his undergrad at the University of Kansas and medical school at Loyola University in Chicago. Following this, he completed his residency in emergency medicine at Northwestern where he served as chief resident. He has been an attending in the emergency department at both Loyola and more recently Northwestern and served as both assistant clerkship director and assistant residency director. Dr. Pirotte is passionate about teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels with a focus on procedures, practice transition, and personal finance.  He lives in 12 South with his wife Christiana (an anesthesiologist at Vanderbilt), their 2 children Zoe and Tommy, and their beloved English Springer Spaniel Lilly.  In his free time, Dr. Pirotte enjoys reading novels, entertaining, cooking, outdoor sports, and gaming.


Kaitlin Ray
Assistant Program Director 

Dr. Ray is a native of Nashville and a former D-1 swimmer at Duke University. She did her medical school at the University of Tennessee and residency at Northwestern in Chicago where she served as Chief Resident. Following residency she took a position as an APD at the University of Wisconsin before returning home to Nashville. She enjoys spending time with her husband Will (a private practice gastroenterologist), her son Jack, and her wire-haired Dachshund Hank.

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Joe Sikon
Assistant Program Director 

Dr. Sikon grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed his medical training in 2016 as a part of the six-year accelerated B.S./M.D. program through Kent State and Northeast Ohio Medical University.  From there he and his wife moved to Nashville where he completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Vanderbilt in 2019, and his Fellowship in Simulation in 2020. Since then, Joe has worked actively with resident education at Vanderbilt as a faculty member, primarily as a part of the Simulation Division. He was appointed as an APD in 2022. When he's not at work or in the sim lab Joe likes to spend his time lifting at the gym, cooking, and spending time with his wife and chocolate Labrador, Chessie.


Catherine Burger
Assistant Program Director 

Dr. Burger is an assistant professor with the Department of Emergency Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in biology and history at the University of Michigan followed by her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.  After graduating from the Vanderbilt University Emergency Medicine Residency, she then completed Chief Residency at Vanderbilt as well. After five years serving as faculty at Vanderbilt, she completed a fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine 2021. Shortly after finishing her fellowship, she became assistant program director in 2021. She enjoys international medicine, running, volleyball and cooking.

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Nick Srica
Assistant Residency Director

Dr. Srica was born and raised in New York. He completed his undergraduate degree in Health Science with a concentration in Emergency and Critical Care at Stony Brook University. He then received his medical degree from New York Medical College, graduating as a member of both Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) and Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS). He went on to complete residency at Vanderbilt and is now serving as ARD. His professional interests include medical education, administration, and resident/medical student mentorship. He enjoys golf, hiking, New York sports, playing guitar, and spending time with his wife Karly and their beloved German Shepherd Luna.

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Graham Van Schaik
Assistant Residency Director

Dr. Van Schaik completed his undergrad in Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and medical school here at Vanderbilt. He liked it so much he wanted to stay on for his EM residency and is now one the ARDs in the 2022-2023 year. While in residency Graham was inducted into Vanderbilt's AOA, began working as a Flight Physician for Vanderbilt LifeFlight, and fostered an interest in VUMC EM operations. Professionally he is interested in department efficiencies, research in RSI, and Wilderness Medicine. When not in the hospital he is typically found in the climbing gym, on a trail, or on a mountain. 

Elizabeth Fischer
Associate Program Manager


Elizabeth has been at Vanderbilt since May 2016 and is the newest member of our  team.  She is transferring to us from the Department of Surgical Sciences, where she was the assistant to the Chief Business Officer, as well as assisting the General Surgery Residency Program Director for the past 2 ½ years. Elizabeth is a proud mom to three boys (Aaron, Wyatt & Jaxon) and two dogs (Link and Bogie). In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her wife and boys, go hiking, and take family vacations.


Tammy Tankersley
Program Coordinator

Tammy is a Nashville native and has been with VUMC for 15 years. She is the proud mom of one daughter (Alyssa), and her two handsome Golden Retrievers, River and Raine (River pictured). In her spare time she enjoys working in her yard, walking on trails with her Golden boys, crafting and spending time with family and friends. 

Please reach out to her with any questions you may have about our program. 


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