2024 Wilderness Committee Leader Spotlight

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Joe Mueller, MS4, Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Joe Mueller.jpgProgram: UCSF Fresno

Your goal as an EMRA leader: My goal is to do the best possible job I can as chair of the wilderness committee this year. For me, this means putting on an amazing MedWAR 2024 at Las Vegas, giving a platform to our awesome committee members, and spreading awareness of wilderness medical opportunities to EMRA members.

Why did you get involved in a professional society?  For the ability to reach out to EMRA's wide base of residents and medical students to spread awareness of the myriad opportunities in wilderness medicine. Also to further advance the field of emergency medicine.  
 
What is the best advice you have ever received? Not every decision is going to be 90-10. Sometimes it's 60-40, and you have to choose the 60.

What is something people don't know about you? That I was born in New Jersey

If I weren't an emergency physician, I would be: Probably an outdoors guide of some sort

What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Start every shift with a large mocha and a cherry turnover
 
What app on your phone consumes the most of your time? Strava or Mountain Project depending on the week
 
What is the last non-textbook you read? The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down after moving to Fresno
 
Favorite channel on social media? David and Megan Roche who are a trail running coughing duo and couple

Jackson Anderson, MD, Chair-Elect of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Joe Mueller.jpgProgram: University of Texas Southwestern

Your goal as an EMRA leader: I love what I do and am excited everyday to go to work and I want to be able to share my experience and passion for learning and being outdoors with others as well as find opportunities to continually learn from my peers.

Why did you get involved in a professional society?  I want to work as a leader in Emergency Medicine and specifically in Wilderness Medicine and being involved in a professional society will give me great opportunities to work with other like-minded individuals, compare different perspectives, and help to continually advance our field.
 
What is the best advice you have ever received? Do your best and have fun - my dad told it to me every morning on the way to school encouraging me to always work hard but to always make sure I'm finding ways to enjoy what I'm doing and learn from it

What is something people don't know about you? I grew up working in event operations at the Super Bowl every year

If I weren't an emergency physician, I would be: I would probably be on ski patrol somewhere in the rockies

What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Dutch bros rebel energy slushies will make time go by way too fast

What is the last non-textbook you read? This Won't Hurt A Bit by Michelle Au
 
Favorite channel on social media? Besides meme accounts… definitely Jimmy Chin

Carlos I. Enciso Lopez, MD, Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Carlos I. Enciso Lopez.jpgProgram: University of Michigan

Your goal as an EMRA leader: As an EMRA leader I want to continue contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to promote access to outdoor recreation and wilderness medicine to under represented individuals. I want to foster a welcoming environment for everyone who is even remotely interested in wilderness education or is just looking for a reason to dip their feet into the outdoors. Finally, I want to help lead a team of some of the countries brightest and most dedicated emergency medicine resident physicians in expanding upon and contributing to the world of wilderness medicine education.

Why did you get involved in a professional society? I wanted to join a group of like minded individuals who both celebrate the outdoors and want to provide education that contributes to excellent patient care.
 
What is the best advice you have ever received? Every day is a new day and a new opportunity to be better. Try not to let yesterdays problems sour an opportunity at a new experience.

What is something people don't know about you? My favorite color is green, but I am also I'm red-green color blind so who knows what color it actually it is haha!

If I weren't an emergency physician, I would be: I think I would have enjoyed being a college professor!

Favorite life hack for night shifts: Lots and lots of candy. Like so much candy.

What app on your phone consumes the most of your time? The "Windy" app to check wind conditions for paragliding!

What is the last non-textbook you read? Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Mariko Ching, MD, Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Carlos I. Enciso Lopez.jpgProgram: University of Michigan

Your goal as an EMRA leader: I want to be involved in projects that provide educational opportunities for medical trainees at all stages of their learning and to be a part of the conversation on how the EM/wilderness medicine community can broaden its reach to historically underrepresented populations.

Why did you get involved in a professional society? I am seeking to be involved with like-minded individuals in a professional organization who are dedicated to pushing the field of emergency medicine and wilderness medicine to new levels, particularly as it relates to inclusivity and education.
 
What is the best advice you have ever received? You are exactly where are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing.

What is something people don't know about you? I love pickle peanut butter sandwiches

If I weren't an emergency physician, I would be: An ethnomusicologist

Favorite life hack for night shifts: A mid shift 100 grand bar

What app on your phone consumes the most of your time? Spotify

What is the last non-textbook you read? Rhapsody in Plain Yellow by Marilyn Chin

What are your tops songs on your Spotify Wrapped? Seventeen by Sharon Van Etten, Sleeping Lessons by The Shins, Soft Stud by Black Belt Eagle Scout 

Jacques (Jack) Lowe, Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: Kaiser Permanente San Diego

Your goal as an EMRA leader: to make wild med awesome

Why did you get involved in a professional society? I've been participating in EMRA leadership since medical school on the medical student council and then a committee leader since starting residency!

What do you think are the top three traits of a great leader? great communicator, inclusive, goal oriented

What is the best advice you have ever received? it's okay to live life like a bug – take one day at a time

What is something that people don't know about you? I have a twin brother!
 
If you weren't an emergency physician, what would you be? I would be a bartender in a foreign country
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? 15g of my finest hand ground natural process coffee, 250g water po. 25mL/hr of a celsius po
 
What app on your phone consumes the most of your time? UpToDate
 
What is the last non-textbook you read? The Food Lab by J Kenji Lopez
 
Favorite channel on social media? Internet Shaquille

Ian Brodka, MD, Asst. Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: University of Michigan

Your goal as an EMRA leader: I want to be a go-to person for the specialty that people can talk to about what it is that we do, how we do it, and the various things that are awesome we do or can do that aren't always obvious. Obviously, being in the Wilderness Committee, my focus is going to be more on the austere side of practice, but there are so many opportunities out there that aren't well broadcasted. We work hard to develop our skillset and there are fun ways to utilize it! I also want to be someone that anyone can come to when they need support or help in any situation they may be in. I'm here for y'all at the end of the day

Why did you get involved in a professional society? For me, it's one of the best ways you can get involved beyond just the every day stuff that we do in medicine. We help individual patients a lot day in and day out, but its only like 20-30 a day at most. And we all grumble about system's issues and guidelines (or lack thereof) throughout. Getting involved allows you to extend and help more people. Also the people are wonderful that you meet and also showcase how fun and interesting the job can be

What is the best advice you have ever received? Treat the patient, not the numbers. And listen to your nurses. Both from my dad who is an RN

What is something that people don't know about you?  I've been slowly trying (key word) to learn Spanish with Duolingo over the last year and a half. Not great, but it's better than before
 
If you weren't an emergency physician, what would you be? Either would have gone into metalworking (welding, smithing) or beer brewing
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Plan ahead for sleep schedule adjustments as able
OR
Accept defeat, melatonin induced night night, caffeine as your ally
 
What is the last non-textbook you read? Currently getting through LotR... For the first time...
 
What's on your playlist?
1. Stick Season - Noah Kahan
2. Almost - Hozier
3. The Outskirts - Zach Bryan
4. Something in the Orange - Zach Bryan
5. Sun to Me - Zach Bryan

Megan Barthels, MD Asst. Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: University of Wisconsin

Your goal as an EMRA leader: My goal as an EMRA leader is to make access to Wilderness Medicine education more accessible to medical students and residents and to grow the diversity of those who are traditionally represented in the outdoors.

Why did you get involved in a professional society? I believe professional societies are a great opportunity to bring like minded individuals together to work towards a common goal to advance and grow the specific area of interest.

What do you think are the top three traits of a great leader? Communication, resilience, and integrity

What is something that people don't know about you? I worked as an ICU nurse for four years before medical school.
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Unfortunately nothing special; coffee and diet mountain dew are my go to. 
 
What is the last non-textbook you read?  The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Abrams
 

Brian Legvold, MSPH, Asst. Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: Emory

Your goal as an EMRA leader: I want to promote collaboration between our wilderness medicine minded members and their medical school counterparts. By engaging with these aspiring medical professionals early in their education, I hope that we can foster a passion for our field in individuals. 

Why did you get involved in a professional society?  As surprising as it is to most people who know me, I didn't find my way to emergency medicine until halfway through my third year of medical school.  The revelation that I was unmistakenly destined for emergency medicine coincided, quite shockingly, with my first immersive experience during an elective two-week stint in the trauma bay.  Having such exposure occur so late in medical school, I felt there should be a more accessible way for lost souls like myself to discover the field earlier.  Upon reflection, I recognized numerous missed opportunities where engagement could have occurred had I known that they were part of the diverse practice of emergency medicine.  This realization prompted me to take an active role and try to facilitate the types of conversations that could have set the stage for my involvement in emergency medicine long before that fateful day in the Grady trauma bay

What is the best advice you have ever received? Patience, for this too shall pass.

What is something that people don't know about you?  I used to be a helicopter pilot in the Army
 
If you weren't an emergency physician, what would you be? Wildland firefighting helicopter pilot or a bartender on the beach somewhere
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Redbull and music (playing ever so softly next to my computer)
 
What app on your phone consumes the most of your time? NYT
 
What is the last non-textbook you read?  Night Angel series by Brent Weeks
 
What's on your playlist? Hallucinogenics by Matt Maeson
Sound of Silence by Simon and Grafunkel
Faint by Linkin Park

Erin Kinney, MS4, Asst. Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: OHSU

Your goal as an EMRA leader: My goal as an EMRA leader is to get involved in emergency medicine, meet others who are also leaders and learn from them. 

Why did you get involved in a professional society? To foster connections and benefit from what a professional society can offer me. 

What do you think are the top three traits of a great leader?Humility, positivity, empathy

If you weren't an emergency physician, what would you be? Mountain guide and ski patroller.
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? Work out before and lots of snacks. 
 
What is the last non-textbook you read? Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain 
 
Favorite channel on social media? Nikolai Schirmer on Youtube
 
What's on your playlist?
By and By - Caamp
Vagabond - Caamp
Flowers in Your Hair - The Lumineers
Stick Season - Noah Kahan
Honey Hold Me - Morningsiders

Danusha (Dee) Sanchez MD, PMP, MIS, NREMT, Asst. Vice Chair of the EMRA Wilderness Committee, 2024

Jacques Lowe.jpgProgram: Kościan Hospital

Your goal as an EMRA leader:  As an EMRA leader, my aim is to raise awareness of wilderness medicine within my community and among medical students at international schools. I plan to focus on practical skills applicable in remote or resource-limited environments, sharing these insights to enhance emergency care practices back home. The goal is to learn, adapt, and integrate these unique medical practices, improving our overall approach to emergency medicine.

Why did you get involved in a professional society?  I joined a professional society to immerse myself in a community passionate about emergency medicine, where friendships and professional relationships flourish. This network not only enriches my personal life but also sharpens my professional skills, ensuring I continually operate at the peak of my license. It's about growing together, learning from one another, and staying inspired to provide the best care possible.

What is the best advice you have ever received?  The best recent advice I've received is that focusing on the details can make a significant difference, even if it means not always being at the forefront. This approach has taught me the value of precision and the impact of small contributions, guiding me to strive for excellence in every task, no matter the scale. It's about the quality of work and the thoughtfulness behind each action that ultimately defines success.

If you weren't an emergency physician, what would you be? If I weren't an emergency physician, I would likely return to my previous career in medical informatics. Both fields focus on problem-solving in healthcare, but while emergency medicine deals with immediate patient care, medical informatics utilizes data and technology to improve healthcare outcomes.
 
What is your favorite hack for night shifts? During my many years as an EMT, I have always taken advantage of any downtime between patients, whether it meant simply meditating with my eyes closed or relaxing. As a new EM resident in Poland, I'm still learning how to survive night shifts; however, so far, micro-naps during any downtime (during or outside of work) that presents itself have been effective. My favorite place to nap is on the train to and from work.
 
What is the last non-textbook you read?  The book "Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative" written by Florence Williams was the last book I have read and enjoyed which wasn't a textbook. It explores the scientific and psychological benefits of spending time in nature and how nature can positively impact our well-being. The recently have tried to give fiction a try and have started reading Stephen King's "Fairy Tale". 
 
Favorite channel on social media? My favorite two people to follow on Instagram are my friends Haney Mallemat (@criticalcarenow) who always posts/repost the best, most up to date EM/CritCare medical content and Sarah Spelsberg (@spelsie_sarah_catherine) who always have the coolest wilderness medicine posts. 

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