The Department of Emergency Medicine is dedicated to improving outcomes of acutely ill and injured patients through high quality, cost efficient care, education, and research.

Our Commitment

Emergency Medicine has a unique position in a healthcare - we provide care for all with acute illness, injury or unmet needs, beginning in the field - their home, job, or recreational site - through the emergency department and to specialty care units that include toxicology and post cardiac arrest care. We are a gateway to the health care system and provide the time-sensitive care that impacts outcomes. Forty percent of all admissions to UPMC hospitals receive their first care in the Emergency Department.

Synergistic efforts between the Department of Emergency Medicine faculty, other Pitt and UPMC departments, local EMS systems, the Center of Emergency Medicine and local institutions have made the academic programs of the Department one of the top in the nation.

As Emergency Medicine matures, Pitt EM leads the way, training current and future leaders including organizational presidents, text and journal editors, department chairs and deans. We continue to create new knowledge to share, using foundation support and a growing, always highly-ranked federal funding stream. The department is committed to conducting quality translational and clinical research and proving the infrastructure for the development of excellent partners.

The Pitt Department of Emergency Medicine maintains a long-term commitment to promote relationships between UPMC and community hospitals. Academic faculty at core campuses of UPMC-Presbyterian, UPMC-Mercy, UPMC-Shadyside and Magee Women's Hospital of UPMC give care to nearly 200,000 patients yearly; they also oversee the EMS efforts of 43 ground, 17 commercial airline services and the STAT MedEvac system, the busiest air medical not-for-profit program in the US. Our closely affiliated community UPMC EM partners provide professional staffing and management of 16 Emergency Departments and 9 Urgent Care Centers, totaling another 650,000 yearly visits.


Academic Emergency Medicine began at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1978 with the recruiting of Ronald D. Stewart, M.D. Dr. Stewart started as Medical Director of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety Bureau of EMS; with the support of the University, Dr. Stewart founded the Center for Emergency Medicine of Western Pennsylvania to advance emergency care, research and training.

In 1981, the University of Pittsburgh Affiliated Residency in Emergency Medicine began as a conjoint effort with Mercy Hospital, West Penn Hospital, and Presbyterian University Hospital. Dr. Paul M. Paris was the inaugural Director of the Affiliated Residency Program and Associate Medical Director of the City of Pittsburgh EMS. In 1988, Allan B. Wolfson assumed the Program Director role, and in 2008, the name changed to the University of Pittsburgh Residency in Emergency Medicine, signaling a common structure and home fo all participating sites.

Over the next 15 years, the Emergency Medicine programs at the University of Pittsburgh and the Center for Emergency Medicine gained national prominence by becoming the most prolific, measured by training excellence, research impact, and the creation of leaders regionally and nationally. The maturation of the division earned the privilege of full departmental status in July 1995, with Paul M. Paris, M.D. appointed Chair of the Department. Donald M. Yealy, M.D., an Affiliated Residency Program of the University of Pittsburgh graduate, became Vice Chair. In 2009, Dr. Yealy became the second Pitt EM Chair, with Clifton W. Callaway serving as Executive Vice Chair, Charissa B. Pacella as Vice Chair of Operations, Allan B. Wolfson as Vice Chair of Education, and Paul E. Phrampus as Vice Chair of Quality.

Each year, our faculty provides teaching to 48 EM residents and many non-EM resident trainees, over a hundred medical students, and 4-6 fellows. We live our mission - improving acute care while creating and sharing the knowledge to do this even better.