NEW YORK (June 4, 2018)—Recognizing the increasing importance of emergency medicine as an academic discipline, Weill Cornell Medicine has expanded the Division of Emergency Medicine into a comprehensive department effective July 1, the institution announced today. Dr. Rahul Sharma, who has led the Lisa Perry Emergency Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center as emergency physician-in-chief and served as division chief since 2016, has been appointed the inaugural chairman of the new academic Department of Emergency Medicine.
Dr. Sharma is a distinguished leader in emergency medicine who has demonstrated excellence in the study, teaching and implementation of technology to deliver virtual healthcare to patients. Since 2016, Dr. Sharma expanded the division’s research and education initiatives while ensuring superb patient care in the emergency department. Now as chair of the new Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Sharma will continue to enhance these academic activities by recruiting outstanding physicians and scientists to conduct research. He will also be tasked with driving innovations in telemedicine and initiating new fellowship programs to nurture the next generation of healthcare leaders. Dr. Sharma will also become chief and medical director of the NewYork-Presbyterian Emergency Medical Services (EMS) enterprise.
“We are thrilled to establish the new Department of Emergency Medicine, which will marshal the scholarly and teaching prowess of our physicians and scientists as they seek to make medicine better for patients now and in the future,” said Dr. Augustine M.K. Choi, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “Dr. Sharma’s outstanding leadership in emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center makes him uniquely suited to lead this new academic department and provide the best care to patients throughout New York City.”
“NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medicine are leading the way in emergency medicine, research and new innovations in patient care,” said Dr. Steven J. Corwin, president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian. “The new Department of Emergency Medicine, under the leadership of Dr. Sharma, will be a wonderful asset to our institutions that will enhance the care we provide to our patients.”
“It is an exciting milestone that Weill Cornell Medicine established the Department of Emergency Medicine, not only for academic medicine, but also for our specialty,” said Dr. Sharma, who is an associate professor of clinical medicine and of clinical healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Becoming an academic department further enhances our tremendous reputation and will allow us to recruit stellar faculty, build a robust research enterprise and maintain clinical excellence. I am proud to lead our new department as we continue to innovate with the ultimate goal of improving the health of our patients.”
As emergency physician-in-chief, Dr. Sharma oversees operational activities for the emergency departments at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, which combined receive more than 140,000 annual patient visits. He also leads the ED’s telemedicine program, ED Telehealth Express Care, which was launched in July 2016 as part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s digital suite of services, NYP OnDemand. The program is designed for patients already in the ED with non-life-threatening conditions—such as colds, minor rashes and minor injuries like sprains—allowing them to visit virtually with an emergency medicine physician in a private room. ED Telehealth Express Care, which has significantly reduced wait times from two to three hours to 30-45 minutes, while maintaining patient safety and satisfaction, was honored in October with the 2017 Emergency Care Innovation of the Year Award at the American College of Emergency Physicians Scientific Assembly in Washington, D.C.
Under Dr. Sharma’s leadership, the Department of Emergency Medicine will build upon those clinical successes while also expanding its research enterprise. Since 2016, the department has more than doubled its number of clinical trials, peer-reviewed faculty publications—with some 20 articles and abstracts published on telemedicine topics alone—and overall research funding. Dr. Sharma seeks to continue this trend by recruiting a new cadre of physician-scientists who can obtain research grants and investigate trends in digital healthcare, geriatrics and resuscitation medicine.
The department will also engage in education initiatives designed to nurture future healthcare leaders. In 2016, Dr. Sharma established a summer scholars program to expose medical students to healthcare leadership and management; he now plans to expand this program into a two-year fellowship for emergency medicine physicians. This fellowship would augment a robust portfolio of programs in the department, including a physician assistant residency program, a physician wellness program, and a telemedicine and digital healthcare elective for Weill Cornell Medical College students, one of the first of its kind in the country.
Dr. Sharma is a national leader in the fields of emergency medicine, healthcare operations, telemedicine and virtual healthcare. Dr. Sharma’s work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals, including NEJM Catalyst and JAMA, and he has been an invited guest speaker at several national and international programs, including the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on the American College of Emergency Physicians’ National Emergency Medicine Practice Committee and the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Committee, and is an oral boards examiner for the American Board of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Sharma also currently serves as vice president of the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Medical Board Executive Committee.
An esteemed teacher, Dr. Sharma has been honored with the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association’s National Excellence in Teaching Award and the American College of Emergency Physicians’ National Faculty Teaching Award. In addition to education initiatives he founded in emergency medicine and healthcare leadership, Dr. Sharma serves as a strategic advisor and member of the core leadership team for the Executive MBA/MS in Healthcare Leadership program offered by Weill Cornell Medicine and the Samuel Curtis Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.
Dr. Sharma received a combined M.D./M.B.A. degree in Health Management from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed his specialty training in emergency medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was selected chief resident. He joined Weill Cornell Medicine’s faculty as an instructor in medicine in 2005 and was promoted to assistant professor of medicine in 2008. A year later, he was appointed assistant director for operations in the Division of Emergency Medicine. In 2012, Dr. Sharma was named medical director and associate chief of service of the emergency department at NYU Langone Medical Center. In 2014, Dr. Sharma returned to Weill Cornell Medicine as executive vice chief of emergency medicine and an associate professor of clinical medicine. In 2016 he was promoted to chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine at the academic medical institution and emergency physician-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Weill Cornell Medicine is committed to excellence in patient care, scientific discovery and the education of future physicians in New York City and around the world. The doctors and scientists of Weill Cornell Medicine — faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College, Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and Weill Cornell Physician Organization—are engaged in world-class clinical care and cutting-edge research that connect patients to the latest treatment innovations and prevention strategies. Located in the heart of the Upper East Side's scientific corridor, Weill Cornell Medicine's powerful network of collaborators extends to its parent university Cornell University; to Qatar, where Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar offers a Cornell University medical degree; and to programs in Tanzania, Haiti, Brazil, Austria and Turkey. Weill Cornell Medicine faculty provide comprehensive patient care at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, NewYork-Presbyterian Queens and NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Weill Cornell Medicine is also affiliated with Houston Methodist. For more information, visit weill.cornell.edu.
NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the nation’s most comprehensive, integrated academic healthcare delivery systems, whose organizations are dedicated to providing the highest quality, most compassionate care and service to patients in the New York metropolitan area, nationally, and throughout the globe. In collaboration with two renowned medical schools, Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, NewYork-Presbyterian is consistently recognized as a leader in medical education, groundbreaking research and innovative, patient-centered clinical care.
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