The Department of Emergency Medicine of the University of Alabama School of Medicine exists in order to provide the highest-quality emergency medical care to patients, to participate in the education of health professionals, and to promote the development of the specialty of emergency medicine and related disciplines through excellence in patient care, teaching, and research.
Organized in 1996, the Department of Emergency Medicine grew out of the former academic division of the Department of Surgery known as the Division of Emergency Services. This new organization provided for enhanced response to patient care, attention to quality assurance, and resident training activities.
The major responsibility of the department is the provision of patient care in the University of Alabama Hospital Emergency Department including all instructional and quality assurance activities. Although the faculty members at the Children’s Hospital are not members of the Department of Emergency Medicine, the department provides instructional support activities with joint educational conferences and enjoys an excellent relationship with the faculty in the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine.
The major clinical facility within the Medical Center is UAB Hospital, consisting of over 1,100 beds in multiple separate structures. In 2015, UAB Hospital was ranked the nation's third-largest public hospital. The North Pavilion, opened in 2004, houses the University Emergency Department as well as a number of inpatient medical, surgical, and critical care beds and operating suites.
The Department of Emergency Medicine is composed of board-certified emergency physicians dedicated to the provision of patient care in the Emergency Department including all instructional, educational, and quality-assurance activities. Longevity among the faculty is excellent, with many of them working at UAB for more than 10 years.
"Emergency medicine encompasses the decision making and actions necessary to prevent death or any further disability for patients in health crises, as well as health promotion and injury prevention efforts. Emergency medicine is practiced as patient-demanded, broadly available, and continuously accessible care by physicians educated to engage in the recognition, stabilization, evaluation, treatment, and disposition of patients in response to unexpected illness and injury. The patient population is unrestricted and presents with a full spectrum of episodic, undifferentiated physical and behavioral conditions. Emergency medicine is an integral component of the health care system." (American College of Emergency Physicians, 1995)