Hess ErikProfessor
Vice Chair for Research

Research and Clinical Interests
Shared decision making, decision science and ameliorating disparities in public health


Dr. Erik P. Hess is a graduate of the UAB School of Medicine. Dr. Hess served on faculty at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for 12 years prior to returning to UAB in 2018. He completed a residency in Emergency Medicine and fellowship in Critical Care Medicine at the Mayo Clinic as well as a Clinical Research fellowship at the University of Ottawa. Boarded in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Hess is currently a tenured physician scientist and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Alabama School of Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Hess’ research interests are focused on shared decision making, decision science and ameliorating disparities in public health. The overall goal of Dr. Hess’ research is to investigate and implement ways clinicians and systems can consistently treat patients seeking emergency care with dignity and respect, anyone, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the circumstances. This research agenda focuses on improving the patient experience of care, addressing disparities in health outcomes in the Deep South, and learning to see the emergency care experience from the patient’s perspective.

Since transitioning to UAB, Dr. Hess has led or co-led several interdisciplinary clinical operations initiatives. He collaborated with the Division of Cardiovascular disease to establish an outpatient Chest Pain Transitional clinic to provide a reliable mechanism for urgent < 72 hour outpatient follow-up and implemented an evidence-based patient centered approach to risk stratification, risk communication and shared decision making in patients with low to moderate risk chest pain known as the Chest Pain Choice Pathway. This multicenter implementation project including 5 EDs in 3 integrated health systems (UAB, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and the Mayo Clinic) is funded by the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. He has also successfully competed for funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) to combat the opioid epidemic by establishing a screening, brief intervention, and referral (SBIRT) pathway to initiate medication assisted therapy in ED patients with opioid use disorder. This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Jefferson County Department of Public Health, the Recovery Resource Center, the Beacon Recovery Program, and the Fellowship House.

Dr. Hess has authored or co-authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, co-authored American Heart Association guidelines, reviewed grants for the NIH, PCORI, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation, is a member of the editorial board of Academic Emergency Medicine, and has served as peer reviewer for a number of medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, Health Affairs, Circulation, Journal of the American College of Cardiology and Annals of Emergency Medicine, among others. Dr. Hess has successfully competed for funding as PI from both foundations and government agencies to support his research and mentored more than 25 clinicians and scientists, with mentee outcomes ranging from presentations at national and international academic meetings to publications in the peer-reviewed literature to successful attainment of academic positions in emergency medicine to preparing competitive applications for extramural funding.


American Board of Emergency Medicine


Medical School
University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic (Critical Care Medicine)
University of Ottawa (Clinical Research)



Office Location
KB 524