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Michael A. Kaufmann, MD, FACEP

St. Vincent Physician among First in the Country To Receive Board Certification in Emergency Medical Services

INDIANAPOLIS – Michael A. Kaufmann, MD, FACEP is one of the first physicians in the country to be Board Certified in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) by the American Board of Medical Specialties. EMS is defined as a medical subspecialty that encompasses pre-hospital emergency patient care, including initial patient stabilization, treatment, and transportation in specially equipped ambulances or helicopters to hospitals. The American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) announced in late September that the subspecialty of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) was approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

“The purpose of subspecialty certification in EMS is to standardize physician training and qualifications for EMS practice, to improve patient safety and enhance the quality of emergency medical care provided to patients in the prehospital environment, and to facilitate further integration of prehospital patient treatment into the continuum of patient care. We are pleased that EMS has been recognized by ABMS as a clinical discipline that extends emergency care to the acutely ill and injured patient in the prehospital venue,” stated Mark T. Steele, M.D., ABEM President.

EMS becomes the sixth subspecialty available to ABEM diplomates along with Medical Toxicology, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Sports Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The development of EMS as a subspecialty has been discussed for many years but it was through the concerted efforts of the National Association of EMS Physicians, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and ABEM that certification in the subspecialty was approved.

As part of their clinical practice, EMS physicians are responsible for medical oversight of the whole EMS team. EMS physician practice combines direct patient care in the field with supervisory and other functions that ensure an effectively functioning response system. This includes daily direct medical decision-making and control of care provided by EMS personnel. Some examples of this include verbal medical treatment orders based on clinical information provided by allied health personnel, transport modality and destination appropriate patient care decisions, developing and deploying written patient treatment guidelines for the EMS team, and ensuring procedural competency training of allied health personnel. EMS physicians also lead quality management activities relating to medical care delivered by the entire EMS system.

Certification in the subspecialty of EMS is achieved through an application process with the American Board of Medical Specialties, a minimum of 60 months of EMS practice of at least 400 hours per year, and a 300-question examination that covers the core content of EMS Physician practice. Physicians must renew board certification every ten years.

Michael Kaufmann graduated from Indiana University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology. At that same time, he was certified by the State of Indiana as an Emergency Medicine Technician. He then worked as a microbiologist for Cook Pharmaceutical Solutions for one year in Bloomington, Indiana before entering Indiana University School of Medicine. He graduated with his medical degree in 1998 and went on to complete an emergency medicine residency at the Case Western Reserve-MetroHealth Medical Center program in Cleveland, Ohio. During his last year there, he served as Chief Resident. He flew as a flight physician for Cleveland Metro Life Flight for three years. Since finishing residency, Dr. Kaufmann has worked as an emergency physician at St. Vincent Hospital and Health Systems. He is board certified in Emergency Medicine. He also serves as the EMS Medical Director for St. Vincent Hospital and all of their EMS affiliates, including Pike Township Fire Department, the Carmel Fire Department, Whitestown Fire Department, Zionsville Fire Department, Decatur Township Fire Department, Midwest Ambulance, parts of Seals Ambulance and parts of Rural/Metro Ambulance. Dr. Kaufmann is also the medical director for the St. Vincent StatFlight helicopter program and the St. Vincent Critical Care Transport StatGround Team. Last but not least, Dr. Kaufmann is an avid Ironman triathlete and spends his remaining free time with his family, including four children, living in Brownsburg, Indiana.