For patients who are admitted to a hospital, the emergency department often represents a gateway to their care. The physicians who receive these patients must be able to respond to a wide variety of medical needs, playing a critical role in setting
the patient’s path to healing. It is one of many reasons a highly skilled, well-trained emergency medicine workforce is essential.
Dr. Jehle’s distinguished career includes numerous academic and community hospital appointments and a 27-year run as the Buffalo Bills’ Director of Emergency Medical Services. Notably, he has led the development of EM residency programs
at three different academic medical centers. He is excited to work on a fourth at UTMB, making Emergency Medicine the newest addition to UTMB’s 59 current Graduate Medical Education programs.
“There's something sacred about the practice of emergency medicine. We are the safety net in the United States for health care. We take care of everybody regardless of their ability to pay, any time of day, any kind of complaint, any age, and
there's something special about that,” Dr. Jehle says.
The specialty of emergency medicine is defined by the American College of Emergency Physicians as being “dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of unforeseen illness or injury.” The range of skills and knowledge required of an EM physician
is broad, as they must be equipped to respond a myriad of case types, including, but not limited to respiratory issues; head, neck and spine injuries; severe bleeding; cardiac and stroke symptoms; broken bones; and serious wounds.
Dr. Jehle points out that emergency physicians play critical roles not only in the ED or urgent care centers, but in disaster response situations among other settings where emergency care is critical. He names UTMB’s programs in Aerospace Medicine
and Polar Operations as potential opportunities for collaboration, and he hopes to work with Texas A&M University at Galveston when it acquires its new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel, a state-of-the-art ship to be used for training
that will also serve as a critical disaster resource.
Dr. Jehle has a wealth of EM experience that includes airway management (an important part of his work with the NFL), oximetry studies, trauma, and resuscitation head cooling for cardiac arrest. He is perhaps best known for his innovative work with
ultrasound, having pioneered use of the bedside ultrasound in the U.S. He hopes to bring ultrasound into the medical school curriculum at UTMB – especially as ultrasound probes have become much more portable, being small enough to plug into
a cell phone.
“Ultrasound probes will probably be viewed in the same way as a stethoscope was when I started medical school. You bought a stethoscope on day one, and that was one of the tools that you used,” he said. “We’ll work to bring
it into the curriculum to a greater degree, and we're hoping to hire several ultrasound fellowship-trained faculty.”
Dr. Jehle says interest in EM among medical students has been strong, with about 10 to 20 UTMB graduates entering EM residency programs each year. The UTMB EM residency will support five residents per year for the three-year program.