The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health invites applications and nominations for the position of chair of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine.

The opportunity

Over the past decade, the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) has established an exceptionally strong financial, operational, and administrative foundation. The second chair in the department’s history will have the opportunity to lead a proven team that is poised for growth, dedicated to providing optimal and outstanding patient care for individual patients and families, and committed to developing tomorrow’s leaders in emergency medicine.

Today, the department is home to more than forty faculty, including faculty with dual certification in pediatrics, critical care, and palliative care. The emergency medicine residency program welcomes 13 residents per class and has hosted up to nine fellowship programs per year. A clinically skilled and stable advanced practice provider (APP) pool is integrated seamlessly into the department, taking on a variety of learner, provider, and administrative roles. Together, the faculty, residents, and APPs staff four emergency departments (EDs): the adult and pediatrics, burn and trauma, level I ED at the University Hospital; the American Family Children’s Hospital ED; The American Center ED on the east side of Madison that is adjacent to a planned $255 million expanded hub for specialty care; and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veteran’s Hospital ED.

An ambulance helicopter
Med Flight takes off from the roof of University Hospital.

The department’s providers deliver true emergency care as part of an operationally efficient health system. Approximately more than 90 percent of the patient market is insured, and therefore lower-acuity patients have robust urgent care centers as alternative options to the ED. At the University Hospital ED, Emergency Severity Index 1, 2, and 3 patients dominate patient visits. The admission rate exceeds 30 percent at this site. Because nearly 50 percent of inpatient admissions are generated from these four EDs, performance of these units is a key driver in the overall success of the academic medical center.

The incumbent will oversee a flourishing academic program. A required rotation in emergency medicine is an integral component of the MD curriculum, and emergency medicine is among the top three specialty disciplines of choice among graduating MD students at the School of Medicine and Public Health. Medical students participate in highly-rated electives and selectives, including point of care ultrasound, clinical simulation, disaster medicine, resuscitation medicine, and sustaining global health rotations. Many graduates choose to continue their training in the emergency medicine residency program, attracted by the strength of its diverse clinical sites, engaged faculty, and non-traditional opportunities, including an additional optional 4th year through a 3+1 residency model.

Research activity in the department is on a growth trajectory. Tenure-track junior faculty researchers are successfully competing for research funding and are pursuing R-level NIH funding. The growth of the emergency department research enroller program is aimed at further enhancing the number of internal and external research studies undertaken by the department. NIH funding levels have led to top-20 status for the department nationally according to Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research rankings. The department’s research portfolio exceeds $10 million.

Departmental faculty hold key institutional leadership positions including Chief Quality Officer, Patient Safety Officer, American Family Children's Hospital Chief Medical Officer, and Medical Director of Clinical Simulation. The administrative team has focused on attaining a high level of skill in quality improvement and change management processes. Key attributes of the organizational approach within the department include efficiency, empowerment, and effective team dynamics. An essential feature of the department is an inclusive, supportive, and wellness-minded culture that is exemplified by collegiality and caring.

Organization overview


“The University of Wisconsin–Madison is distinctive in its scale and breadth, the premium we place on our relevance to society, and our commitment to inclusivity in the broadest sense.” — Rebecca M. Blank, Chancellor

Since 1848, this campus has been a catalyst for the extraordinary. As a public land-grant university and one of the most prolific research institutions in the world, UW–Madison is home to those who are driven by a desire to both explore new worlds and to apply new ideas to real-world problems.

With a total annual budget of over $3.1 billion, including more than $1 billion in annual research expenditures, UW–Madison has been in the top 10 in national research spending every year since 1972. The campus is home to more than 23,000 faculty and staff and 45,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree students. Members of the student body represent all 50 states and 127 countries. The university is ranked 26th worldwide by the Center for World University Rankings and 13th among public U.S. universities in the 2021 Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings.

The Wisconsin Idea—the principle that the university should improve people’s lives beyond the classroom— has been guiding the efforts of UW–Madison Badgers for more than a century. The university has been dedicated to studying poverty and social inequity for 50 years, is ranked #1 among large schools for producing Peace Corps volunteers, and boasts 19 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty and alumni.

School of Medicine and Public Health

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH) is recognized as an international, national, and statewide leader in education, research, and service. Founded in 1907, it transformed into the nation’s first School of Medicine and Public Health in 2005 to integrate the principles and power of interwoven medical and public health approaches in all of its missions.

Powered by more than 5,500 employees, including over 2,000 faculty, the school’s engagement spans the entire state of Wisconsin and includes a deep commitment to improvement of the health of the population. This commitment manifests itself in innovative models that serve as paradigms for the rest of the country.

Health Sciences Learning Center
The Health Sciences Learning Center and Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research are located at the western end of campus.

Members of the school rapidly translate discovery into application and continually foster synergies between clinical care, education, and research. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top medical schools, SMPH has established high-performance academic programs that are intentionally distributed across the entire spectrum of academic medicine. Its faculty members hold appointments in 27 departments—17 in the clinical sciences and 10 in the basic sciences. The faculty is composed of some of the nation’s leading researchers, educators, and clinicians. This includes several National Medal of Science recipients and National Academy of Science honorees.

Mission and values

UW SMPH strives to carry out its mission of advancing health and health equity through remarkable service to patients and communities, outstanding education, and innovative research. It upholds the values of integrity and accountability, compassion, diversity, equity and inclusivity, and excellence. The school’s Shared Guidelines for Professional Conduct help the SMPH community embody these values in their daily activities.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive community is important both as an end in itself and also as a valuable driver of eliminating health disparities. The school strives to be comprised of a diverse, inclusive academic community committed to excellence and equity in health; wellness through teaching and learning, clinical service, and advocacy; and research in all forms of biological science, population health science, and health care.

SMPH is dedicated to creating an inclusive, collaborative, respectful, and welcoming environment in which all faculty, students, and staff will thrive. This effort is referred to as Building Community, and includes a call to action for every SMPH member to examine not only our intent, but our impact—“Every Person. Every Action. Every Time.”

UW Health

UW Health is the integrated health system of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving more than 600,000 patients each year in the Upper Midwest and beyond with 1,750 physicians and 21,000 staff at seven hospitals and more than 80 outpatient sites. UW Health is governed by the UW Hospitals and Clinics Authority and partners with UW School of Medicine and Public Health to fulfill patient care, research, education and community service missions.

UW Health Hospitals, which includes both University Hospital on the UW–Madison campus and UW Health at The American Center on the east side of Madison, has been ranked No. 1 in Wisconsin for nine years in a row by U.S. News and World Report. University Hospital is one of only 25 U.S. hospitals named to Newsweek’s “Top 100 Global” list, which includes hospitals in 11 countries around the world. American Family Children’s Hospital is also nationally ranked as a top children’s hospital.

UW Health has been designated by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality in the Healthcare Equality Index.

BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine service area map
The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine service area.

The department was historically a division of the SMPH Department of Medicine. The residency program in emergency medicine began in 2007. In 2014, the division was elevated to full departmental status. Metrics and highlights of departmental activity in clinical, educational, and research missions include:

HospitalEmergency Department BedsVolume (FY 2021)Admission Rate
University Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital 56 55,669 33%
The American Center 24 19,648 17%
William S. Middleton Veteran's Hospital 11 12,473 23.9%
  • FY22 operating budget: approximately $21 million.
  • $3.6 million in extramural research from all sources in FY2021. When the  department was founded in 2014, NIH funding amounted to $0.1 million. In FY2021, this figure was $3.1 million.
  • 43 core faculty (4 tenure-track, 33 clinical health sciences track, six clinician-teacher track) with nearly one-third comprised of women. 22 additional Med Flight and part-time faculty, 36 administrative staff, 18 advanced practice providers, and nine fellows.
  • The Emergency Medicine Residency Program was founded in 2007. This fully accredited, three-year program accepts 13 residents per year. Alumni now hold leadership positions in major academic medical centers, including UW SMPH, Duke, Stanford, Yale, the University of Michigan, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Approximately 35 alumni have stayed in Wisconsin to fulfill the critical need for a strong emergency care physician workforce in the state.
  • Patient care extends across four clinical sites and three helicopter bases to support the critical care needs of Central and Southern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and Iowa.
  • Department members focus on targeted areas of practice, such as air medical transport, critical care medicine, EMS, global health, pediatric emergency medicine, research, simulation, and ultrasound.
  • Translational and collaborative research programs in the department partner with internationally-recognized entities such as the UW–Madison College of Engineering and the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center.
  • Key programs include CARES (Cardiac Arrest Registry to Enhance Survival), EMS Resuscitation Academy, SIREN (Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials Network) and VotER (Emergency Room based Voter Registration).
  • Emergency medicine is the third most popular specialty among SMPH MD graduates. 11 percent of graduates match into EM. This growth was facilitated by  doubling the capacity for rotating students through implementation of a required EM rotation into UW SMPH’s ForWard curriculum.

Qualifications and attributes of leadership

The successful chair will be:

  • Capable of developing and driving a compelling vision for the future of emergency medicine and emergency departments in the increasingly complex health care delivery system.
  • A strategic thinker driven by a “true north” that includes the best interests of the department’s patients, personnel, learners, and missions.
  • Well-versed in the modern science of leadership and change management.
  • Adept at leading authentically and with transparency to build trust, goodwill, and understanding — a true “level 5” leader, as defined in Good to Great (2001), J. Collins.

The chair will serve as the department’s academic and administrative leader, overseeing a dedicated and hard-working team. The chair’s operational areas of responsibility will include workforce planning (recruitment, development, and retention of top talent in coordination with the SMPH Office of Human Resources); fiscal oversight of departmental budgets; ensuring optimal clinical operations; and providing direction in research and educational programs. The incumbent will collaborate with a range of internal and external stakeholders to meet shared objectives, as well as identify needs, build bridges, and marshal resources within a complex academic and healthcare system.

Applicants must have an MD, MD/PhD, DO or equivalent degree(s); board certification in emergency medicine; eligibility for a Wisconsin physician license; a track record of successful administrative leadership experience; recognition as an outstanding clinician and educator; and a strong academic background that would qualify for appointment as a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 

The community

Located on an isthmus between two lakes, Madison is the capital city of the state of Wisconsin. Madison has been voted:

  • No. 3 Best Place to Live (Liveability, 2020)
  • among the Best Small Cities in America (National Geographic, 2018)
  • No. 1 City for Most Successful Women Per Capita (Forbes, 2019)
  • No. 1 City for Best Work-Life Balance (SmartAsset, 2020)
  • No. 8 Best Area for STEM Professionals (WalletHub, 2020)
  • No. 2 Best State to Practice Medicine (WalletHub, 2020)
  • No. 2 Best City for Biking (People for Bikes, 2020)
  • No. 2 Most Walkable City (Expedia, 2018)
  • No. 4 Fittest City in the U.S. (ACSM American Fitness Index, 2020)
  • No. 5 Best City for Young Professionals (Forbes, 2016)
  • No. 1 Best Place in the U.S. for Raising Children ( 2020)
  • No. 1 Best College Football Town in America (Sports Illustrated, 2019).

Madison’s technology economy is growing rapidly, and the region is home to the headquarters of Epic Systems, Exact Sciences, American Family Insurance, American Girl, Sub-Zero, and Lands’ End, as well as many biotech, healthcare IT, and health systems startups.

A farmer's market
The Dane County Farmer's Market is held Saturdays on the Capitol Square in downtown Madison.

Madison is the second largest city in the state, with a city population of approximately 260,000 and regional population of over 1 million. The city is within easy driving range of Chicago and Milwaukee. Madison offers numerous unique neighborhoods and commercial areas including the Capitol Square, State Street, Willy Street, Shorewood Hills, Maple Bluff, and Hilldale. Suburbs and surrounding smaller communities include Sun Prairie, Middleton, McFarland, Verona, Cottage Grove, Waunakee, and Fitchburg.

Madison is home to one of the strongest local food scenes in the country with several James Beard Award winners, gastropubs, and farm-to-table restaurants. From April to October, the Capitol Square hosts the impressive Dane County Farmers’ Market, the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. The city is rich with cultural offerings such as the Overture Center for the Performing Arts, Orpheum Theatre, Concerts on the Square, Jazz at Five, UW-Madison Mead Witter School of Music Hamel Music Center, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Madison Ballet, UW–Madison Chazen Museum of Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, Wisconsin Historical Museum, and Madison Children’s Museum, among others.

The city has a dedicated athletics fanbase which largely centers around the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Sports venues include Camp Randall Stadium, the Kohl Center, LaBahn Arena, Wisconsin Field House, and the Alliant Energy Center. Madison is home to Forward Madison FC, the first professional soccer team in the city, as well as the Madison Mallards, a college wood-bat summer baseball league team. Marquee endurance sports and specialty sporting events include IronMan Wisconsin and IronMan 70.3, Reebok CrossFit Games, Madison Marathon, and many national and international championship competitions.

Application process


Please send nominations to:

Thomas A. Zdeblick, MD, and Tricia Kiley, PhD
Co-chairs of the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine Chair Search Committee
c/o Benjamin Schultz-Burkel, DMA
4299C HSLC, 750 Highland Avenue
Madison, WI, 53705-2111


To apply, please visit the UW-Madison jobs website, using the "apply now" button below. Applicants will be asked to upload a CV and personal statement/cover letter.

Diversity, equity and inclusion

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has a deep and profound commitment to diversity both as an end in itself but also as a valuable means for eliminating health disparities. As such, we strongly encourage applications from candidates who foster and promote the values of diversity and inclusion.

Applications from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals, women, and LGBTQ+ and non- binary identities are strongly encouraged.


To receive full consideration, please apply by Sept. 13, 2021.


Unless confidentiality is requested in writing, information regarding applicants must be released upon request. Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentiality. Wisconsin Caregiver Law applies. The University of Wisconsin is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer.

Apply now