One of the most important reasons to consider continuing your education at Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine (WMed) is our record of training outstanding physicians. WMed serves a patient population of 250,000 in Kalamazoo County and, with a dedicated physician response vehicle, you will work alongside pre-hospital providers to ensure quality care of our county residents and visitors. Regionally, WMed serves a population of more than 1 million, generating a diverse range of cases that you will treat in leading-edge medical institutions. As the principle continuing medical education provider for the region, WMed attracts nationally known speakers who keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, research, and procedures. Additionally, our dedication to quality throughout the program ensures a dynamic and comprehensive experience, which lays the foundation for a long and successful career.
The Department of Emergency Medicine offers a fully accredited, one-year fellowship in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with two fellowship positions available each year. The program provides fellows with opportunities in operations, administration, medical oversight, education, teaching, and clinical care in the pre-hospital environment. The Kalamazoo County EMS system is a high-performance, single-tier ALS system with countywide BLS first responders. The EMS system is made up of four ambulance services covering designated areas of the county and 16 first responder agencies provided through fire and public safety agencies. EMS fellows serve as assistant medical directors for the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority (KCMCA). KCMCA is the agency responsible for coordinating and overseeing the EMS system and is administratively and physically housed within the WMed Department of Emergency Medicine. This academic integration allows for very close interaction between fellows, faculty, residents, students, and the EMS system staff. The educational experience is enhanced by a response vehicle allocated solely for fellows, which allows for scene response and quality improvement activities in the field. Through the hard work and dedication of our EMS personnel and a highly effective EMS system design, cardiac arrest survival rates in Kalamazoo County are among the highest in the nation.
- Three hours of fellowship didactics per week
- Monthly M&M and EMS case review
- Monthly teaching with field responders, medical students, and residents
- Monthly administrative and training meetings - KCMCA PSRO and EMS council, 5th District Medical Response Coalition, Kalamazoo County Hazmat Team, Kalamazoo County Fire Chiefs Association, Kalamazoo County Child Death Review committee
- Quarterly Regional Medical Control Authority and Trauma Network meetings
- State of Michigan EMS meetings
- Forty-eight hours per week on-call for pre-hospital scene response and EMS consults with dedicated physician response vehicle
- Kalamazoo and Allegan County SWAT Team involvement
- Conferences, including National Healthcare Preparedness conference, National Association of EMS Physicians, and the Great Lakes Homeland Security conference
- Research and QI projects, utilizing the state EMS run report database
Fellows actively engage in regional and state disaster preparedness activities. They help plan, implement, and evaluate disaster preparedness activities with various federal, state, and local agencies, hospital systems, private companies, and volunteer agencies. KCMCA serves as the coordinating agency for the 5th District Medical Response Coalition (5DMRC), one of the oldest such coalitions in the nation and one cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a national model. The 5DMRC meets monthly and includes representatives from the nine counties in Southwest Michigan. Coalition members represent hospitals, EMS, emergency management, public health, and other healthcare and human service organizations. Additionally, WMed serves as the statewide coordinating agency for the National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) Program. Fellows complete NDLS training and serve as instructors in NDLS courses. Fellows also assist in planning of, and operations at, mass gatherings, such as the Kalamazoo Marathon, WMU football games, Michigan International Speedway, the B-93 music festival, MI-TESA, and regional full-scale exercises. Actual MCI’s to which our fellows have responded include a tour bus vs semi-truck incident; large apartment fires; a 192-vehicle pileup on I-94; and multiple carbon monoxide exposures at a local greenhouse.
WMed works closely with West Michigan AirCare, our sole regional air medical service. AirCare brings unique skills and capabilities to patients in need. The medical director of West Michigan AirCare serves as core faculty for both our residency and fellowship programs. Fellows work with AirCare to gain direct experience in providing air medical care and are actively involved in AirCare’s quality improvement and educational programs. Although flight experience is optional, fellows with an interest in flight medicine have ample opportunity to become more involved with AirCare operations.
During your tenure as a fellow, you will participate in ongoing research studies conducted by the faculty. Our goal is to help you develop outstanding research skills by providing opportunities and resources to cultivate these skills.
The state of Michigan’s EMS Information System program is coordinated by WMed, housing the state EMS Data Manager. With more than 6 million EMS records, fellows have access to a massive amount of data to conduct research under an ongoing state Health Department IRB-approved research project. Fellows enjoy excellent access to bio-statistical support services. Our department has successfully secured over $14 million in state and federal grants, and is one of only a handful of institutions to receive multiple EMS for Children Targeted Issues grants.
Fellows are encouraged to attend and present at the annual meeting of the National Association of EMS Physicians. WMed provides financial support for travel expenses for presentations at state and national meetings.
Clinically, fellows work approximately 40 hours a month as attending physicians at our two regional tertiary care centers (both ACS-verified trauma centers). Together these facilities see over 150,000 ED patient visits annually.
Fellows have teaching opportunities with students and residents at both facilities. WMed sponsors one of the largest emergency medicine residencies in the country, with 20 emergency medicine residents per class.
WMed has a new 25,000-square-foot simulation center that opened in the summer of 2014 and is one of the largest in the Midwest. EMS fellows have full access to the center to hone their own skills and to instruct students, residents, and EMS personnel.
Graduates from our program are well prepared to sit for the EMS subspecialty boards and have a strong understanding of EMS operations and systems. Our high-functioning EMS system offers unique opportunities for fellows in pre-hospital operations and logistics, agency administration, medical oversight/direction, education/teaching, and clinical care in the pre-hospital environment. Additionally, our fellows have an enhanced field experience through our dedicated, well-equipped field response vehicle and our flight program.
Participation at the local, regional, and state level in EMS activities, as well as disaster preparedness, rounds out the EMS operational, planning, and implementation experience.
Our diverse EMS faculty has unique background niche interests and skills. They have experience and interest in air medicine, disaster preparedness, fire service, tactical EMS, wilderness medicine, prehospital education, and EMS system operations, just to name a few.
William Fales, MD
- Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Fellowship Program Director
- Medical Director, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority
- Regional Medical Director, 5th District Medical Response Coalition
- State EMS Medical Director, State of Michigan
- Board Certified EMS
Joshua Mastenbrook, MD
- Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Fellowship Program Director
- 2014 Graduate of WMed EMS Fellowship Program
- Medical Director, Allegan County Medical Control Authority
- Firefighter/Emergency Medical Responder, Richland Township Fire Department
- Board Certified EMS
Glenn Ekblad, DO
- Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
- Medical Director, West Michigan AirCare
John Hoyle, MD
- Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
- Assistant Medical Director for Pediatrics, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority
Dena Smith, MPA, EMT-P, I/C
- Director, WMed Center for EMS, Disaster, and Operational Medicine
- Administrator, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority
- Regional Coordinator, 5th District Medical Response Coalition
Michael Bentley, AAS, Paramedic, IC
Robert Farrell, MA, Paramedic, IC
- Disaster Medicine & Special Projects Coordinator
Application / Interview Process
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Please include:
- Three letters of recommendation, including your residency program director
- Personal statement or letter of interest
- Curriculum vitae
We conduct interviews for our EMS/Disaster Medicine Fellowship on a rolling basis. After your application is received and reviewed, you may be contacted to set up an interview. A $250 stipend is provided to help offset air travel expenses.
Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine
Department of Emergency Medical Services
1000 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008-8060
Toll Free: 855.ASK.WMED