EMRA Board of Directors

Congratulations new EMRA Board Leaders!


Zach Jarou, MD
Denver Health

At any given moment, Zach Jarou's to-do list is filled with everything from presenting at an American Medical Association conference to mentoring students to applying for fellowship. Fellow EMRA board members claim he's been part of EMRA longer than EMRA has been around, after joining early in medical school and serving in 3 different capacities on the EMRA Board. As he begins his yearlong presidency, Dr. Jarou keeps one question at the heart of every discussion: What is best for EMRA members?

Why medicine? Because I wanted to do something meaningful. I am proud to be part of a specialty full of dreamers and doers. The founders of EM knew there had to be a better way. They fought battles to create something from nothing. They built a specialty that has transformed the way acute, episodic care is delivered in the U.S. and around the world. Emergency physicians are experts in resuscitation and risk stratification. As the front porch of the medical home, we are proud to be the safety net of the health care system. EDs also serve as important hubs for care coordination and harm reduction.

When did you know emergency medicine was for you? I think I knew very early on through involvement with my EMIG. I really enjoyed all of my classmates that self-selected to pursue emergency medicine, I loved the hands-on procedure labs, and we were fortunate to have incredible mentors. There are two mentors in particular that I will never forget, Dr. David Overton, now Chair of Emergency Medicine at Western Michigan University, who would drive from Kalamazoo to Lansing to help with our skills sessions, and Dr. Jacob Manteuffel, now President of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians, who helped me co-found the MCEP Medical Student Council.

EMRA's biggest challenge? I think residents have more opportunities than ever before to get involved, so it's important to make sure we're their go-to resource.

Last non-medical book you read? It's a book that former ACEP President Jay Kaplan gave to me: “It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.” It's incredible.

What's your claim to fame from high school? I was Homecoming King and I won best hair, which I donated to Locks of Love. I almost didn't graduate high school — and I almost got kicked out of the National Honor Society. My senior year of high school I argued with every single school board member over our attendance policy. Eventually they had to change my GPA and the GPA of 300 other high school students. I was in the marching band (bari sax) and the jazz band (tenor sax), and I was also in the Flint Youth Ensemble.

Favorite way to relax? I always enjoy a nice IPA or sour from a craft brewery. I like to travel and visit the national parks, and if I can combine the two then that's it right there.

Keeping track of your leadership roles is a fool's errand because there have been so many. What's driving you? The belief that my environment can be a product of me and not the other way around. I also believe that if we don't step up and claim a seat at the table and make decisions for ourselves, then other people will make them for us and we might not like them. You can't whine if you don't participate in the process.

I think EMRA has been the best thing I've ever done, professionally and personally. One of my biggest accomplishments within EMRA is the collaboration I've been able to foster with EMRA Match, between EMRA and CORD and CDEM and ACEP and the students. I'm also incredibly proud of the way EMRA has been the voice of students regarding the Standardized Video Interview and that we were able to protect resident & program director autonomy in deciding what constitutes ACGME scholarly activity.

Favorite Twitter feed? @medicalaxioms@MDaware @mcsassymd @S_P_MD @efunkEM



Omar Maniya, MD, MBA
The Mount Sinai Hospital

Omar Maniya has advocated for health care practitioners as the youngest member of the Board of Trustees for the American Medical Association. He has earned an MBA in hopes of improving care from an administrative standpoint in the future. So as he begins his three-year term with the EMRA Executive Council, he's looking forward to bringing those experiences to bear on behalf of the specialty.

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? The future of emergency medicine is fluid, because the science, the clinical practice, the reimbursement system and quality metrics, and even the definition of our specialty are all changing. As residents, we are the future, so we have to help shape it. That's why I want to give residents an even bigger role in shaping the future of our specialty.

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. Find great people and let them run with their craziest ideas. I want to say “yes” as many times as possible.

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? My co-residents at Sinai were split 50/50 between “Despacito” and “#illnevertell.” Friend me on Facebook to learn more!

Favorite life-balancing hack? Laundry service & Seamless (NYCs food delivery app)

Best advice you've ever heard? “Be the stupidest person in the room.”

Why EM? Because I loved everything but get bored really fast. Plus, we occasionally get to actually save lives!

What goes on pizza? Vegan cheese (unfortunately, I'm lactose intolerant).

Most-used app on your phone? Snapchat

Who is your superhero alter-ego? Sleeping beauty. I'm really good at sleeping (when I get the chance!).



Tommy Eales, DP
Secretary/EM Resident Editor
Indiana University

After serving as editor for the Medical Student Council, Tommy Eales stepped up as vice-chair of the EMRA Research Committee. Now he's getting back to his roots in publications and looking to continue the momentum of EM Resident's print and digital editions.

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? My top goal is to ensure that EM Resident continues to be the premier venue for resident-generated emergency medicine content.

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. My leadership style is to facilitate everyone's individual strengths.

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? “Life's short — stunt it!”- Rod Kimble (Stunt Man extraordinaire)

Favorite life-balancing hack? My favorite life-balancing hack is to set my coffee pot to brew 10 minutes before my alarm clock. The result? I wake up to a fresh pot of coffee and have extra time to take my dog for a long walk before work. As a bonus hack, I also use a slow cooker to make meals several times a week.

Best advice you've ever heard? Overheard at 3 am in a drunk hallway bed section of a county ED: “You can have chest pain or you can have a turkey sandwich, but you can't have both”¦” Later dubbed the “turkey sandwich” rule-out. Pure genius.

Why EM? I love the wide variety of patients and pathology that we see in the ED. We truly see it all. In no other specialty can you deliver a baby, diagnose a fatal cardiac arrhythmia, and stabilize a crashing trauma patient all in the same shift.

What goes on pizza? Pepperoni!

Most-used app on your phone? Tie between Spotify and UpToDate.

Who is your superhero alter-ego? Probably Spiderman. We're both nerdy and like to climb. I'm more into rock climbing than building climbing, though.



Nathan P. Vafaie, MD
Vice-Speaker of the Council
Baylor College of Medicine

As he transitions from EMRA Health Policy Committee Chair to Vice-Speaker of the Council, Nathan Vafaie continues to keep his eyes on all aspects of advocacy — and to promote that same engagement among all EMRA members.

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? Empower our members to participate

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. Thinking out loud, empowering people around me, and hopefully leading by example

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? Calm down: why acapella singing isn't necessary on every shift

Favorite life-balancing hack? To-do lists, short and long term

Best advice you've ever heard? Only compare yourself to the best

Why EM? The adrenaline rush, the huge scope of practice

What goes on pizza? Nothing that crunches

Most-used app on your phone? Associated Press News

Who is your superhero alter-ego? Neuroses Man



Geoff Comp, DO, FAWM
Ex-Officio Board Member
Doctors Hospital/OhioHealth

You know Geoff Comp as the Wilderness Medicine Division chair and a founding organizer of the wildly popular EMRA MedWAR. Now he is joining the EMRA Board as the Ex-Officio Member, representing the membership at large.

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? My main goal will be to provide programming and guidance to help residents develop into exceptional leaders in their residencies and future careers.

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. Community engagement and collaboration with guidance and respect

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? Have fun, and always find something to smile about!

Best advice you've ever heard? One of my medical school mentors gave me advice on how to keep myself balanced throughout residency. Imagine your energy and motivation as liquid filling a cup. Lots of things slowly empty out this cup — challenging patients, difficult shifts, and codes that don't go well. Part of learning how to be a great physician is figuring out what you need to do to keep this cup full, and be the best possible versions of yourself.

Why EM? I enjoy the variety, from the wide range of patient complaints to the fast pace and necessity for rapid decision-making and action. Each shift presents an opportunity to meet someone new and interact with many different, interesting personalities.

What goes on pizza? Extra cheese and any type of meat the pizza joint offers. Vegetables go in salad, not on pizza.

Most-used app on your phone? Probably the notes app. I use it to store ideas, projects, to-do lists, random thoughts. Also, Facebook — I'm not proud of the amount of time I have spent on that app.

Who is your superhero alter-ego? Batman. I know he doesn't have a specific super­power, but I like his ingenuity and ability to problem-solve... and his badass toys.



Sara Paradise, MD
Director of Education
Multimedia Design Education Technology Fellow, UC Irvine

Whether she's evaluating 20 in 6 entries or hosting the EMRA Quiz Show in full Elsa regalia, Sara Paradise goes all-in for medical education (which is a good thing, since she's also completing a fellowship in the arena). She plans to put her background to work for medical students and residents as she serves on the EMRA Board of Directors.

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? I'm hoping to review the great resources that EMRA already has and organize them to see where we can fill in the gaps. Specifically, I'm interested in creating resources on leadership & communication, which are generally not emphasized enough during residency.

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. Genuinely enthusiastic! I love brainstorming with a team and creating action items to accomplish a common goal.

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? “Work hard, drink coffee, stay sweet, enjoy life.”

Favorite life-balancing hack? Happy hour meetings.

Best advice you've ever heard? Admire someone? Send them an email to meet for coffee or just to chat about how they landed where they are!

Why EM? Huh? Oh, sorry, I was distracted by something shiny.

What goes on pizza? Prosciutto, mmmmmmm

Most-used app on your phone? I'm new to Southern California, so probably Waze.

Who is your superhero alter-ego? Moana! She's a boss.



Nick Salerno, MD
Director of Technology
Louisiana State University

What's your top goal in your new role with EMRA? To make the best resident organization in the country even better, through EMRA's IT initiatives (website, communication, medical apps) and by acting on member feedback and ideas to enhance and expand services and benefits provided to our constituents.

Describe your leadership style in 25 words or less. Form teams of great minds to identify needs and areas of improvement. Assign leadership roles and delegate tasks based on an individual's strengths.

If your fellow residents picked a motto for you, what would it be? “If you genuinely want something, don't wait for it — teach yourself to be impatient.” Gurbaksh Chahal

Favorite life-balancing hack? I cherish my time with my wife and son, and I do my best work when my mind is fresh. To balance my shift schedule, side projects, studying, and spending time with the family, I go to bed early and wake up hours before them in order to get my work done while they sleep. This frees up my day so we can enjoy our time together.

Best advice you've ever heard? You can always make time for smaller, less important things, but when you take on too much it becomes difficult to find room for the more crucial aspects of your life. Prioritize appropriately. Don't overbook yourself at the expense of spending time doing what matter most to you.

Why EM? For me, emergency medicine is the best specialty because it requires me to strive to become an expert in the fundamentals of EVERY specialty. We take care of the sickest patients when they are at their worst, and are the first line of care to the underserved. I love the environment we work in, as the ED requires a team-like atmosphere, where clinicians of all levels work together with the same goal: to take care of every patient coming to us in need. I left the business world because I was unsatisfied with my day-to-day. Here, in medicine, our “product” is patient care. And I know that at the end of my life I will find much satisfaction in knowing that I put my abilities to good use, having impacted tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of sick patients throughout my career as an emergency physician.

What goes on pizza? The “what” is less important than the ratio. On pizza, the meat:vegetable ratio must be >3:1.

Most-used app on your phone? iCloud Photo Sharing (album of my son!)

Who is your superhero alter-ego? MacGyver