EMRA Board of Directors, EMRA Spotlight

New Board: President-Elect Dr. RJ Sontag

RJ Sontag, MD
UT Health San Antonio


What are your 2 key goals as an EMRA board member?
I plan to capitalize on my experience in politics and policy to be an advocate for our patients and our profession, and I will help empower others to become advocates.

How will you support EMRA members - and how can they support the specialty?
Our 2 greatest resources are our massive, diverse membership and our powerful system of supporting their ideas. I will serve as a steward of our limited resources to ensure the projects we support provide the most possible benefits to our members, and I will challenge our members to find ways to improve our organization and our specialty through membership, service, and engagement.

Why is serving in a leadership role important to you?
Residency is a perfect time to explore my leadership style and continue my advocacy work, and EMRA supports me on both fronts. I’m excited to leverage the power of our organization to improve the care of our patients, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to service. I welcome the personal and professional development that comes with leadership.

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the specialty in the next 5 years?
Finding a unified voice to advocate for our patients and profession remains our greatest challenge. So much more unites us than divides us, but without a concerted effort to harness our collective energy, we’ll stagnate and risk being diminished.

Reason you chose emergency medicine: 
Emergency medicine is the only specialty that takes care of every patient, day or night, regardless of their ability to pay. That social justice mission is at the heart of why I chose this field and why I advocate for my patients.

Favorite procedure (to date): 
Direct laryngoscopy for intubation remains such a satisfying thrill, but I’m still hoping I get to relieve a tension pneumo with a needle some day!

Most-used app: 
Twitter. The bulk of people I follow are policy leaders, clinical gurus, and comedians. Oh! And drag queens. God bless the drag queen Twitter.

Beach or mountains?
I reject the premise. I prefer exploring a new city.

Last song stuck in your head:
Spice Girls, Spice Up Your Life. It’s my “walk up” song and always gets me pumped.

What goes on pizza?
My favorite combo: pepperoni, sausage, and green peppers. Fun fact: I like anchovies too!

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