The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) welcomes Gillian Schmitz, MD, FACEP, as its president for the 2021-2022 term. Based in San Antonio, Dr. Schmitz is an associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. She also serves as the vice chair of education at Brooke Army Medical Center, where she teaches and takes care of patients in the emergency department.
Dr. Schmitz will devote her year-long presidency to empowering emergency physicians at work and demonstrating the value of emergency physicians’ training and expertise to patients, policymakers, and leaders across health care.
“The nation’s COVID experience continues to exacerbate health care challenges and emergency medicine workforce issues that we must address,” said Gillian Schmitz, MD, FACEP, president of ACEP. “During my term as president, ACEP will guide the evolution of the specialty and work to redefine the boundaries and perception of emergency medicine.”
As demand for emergency care grows, patients continue to have a high level of trust in emergency physicians. An ACEP/Morning Consult poll notes that American adults overwhelmingly indicate a strong preference to be treated by a physician if they are having an emergency.
“There is no substitute for a licensed and trained emergency physician. Patients want the most qualified professionals available when their lives are on the line,” said Dr. Schmitz.
Dr. Schmitz will lead ACEP efforts to encourage lawmakers and health systems to prioritize access to physician-led emergency care teams. At the same time, ACEP will be working to extend emergency physicians’ expertise across specialties and beyond the walls of the hospital by embracing new roles in telehealth, in rural and disadvantaged communities, and through fellowships or other programs that span acute unscheduled care.
“ACEP is the unified voice of emergency physicians who have a wide range of experience and diverse perspectives that make this specialty fascinating, complex and ever-changing. I am optimistic for the future of emergency medicine, and I am eager to lead our effort to shape the path forward for the specialty while we take important steps to improve care for our patients.”
Dr. Schmitz has held leadership roles within ACEP and the emergency medicine community, including past chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, subcommittee chair for the Medical Legal Committee, and chair for the Young Physicians Section. She is a former president of ACEP’s Government Services Chapter and past board member of the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association (EMRA). Dr. Schmitz is a recognized leader in emergency medicine with honors including the National Early Career Faculty Award from the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine (AWAEM), EMRA’s 45 under 45 and Mentorship Award, and ACEP’s National Teaching Faculty award. Dr. Schmitz has a medical degree from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago and completed her emergency medicine residency at the University of North Carolina.