Wisconsin natives, these physicians graduated in the same School of Medicine and Public Health class, chose emergency medicine as a specialty and emergency medical services as a subspecialty, and now practice in their home state.
Megan Gussick, MD ’12 (PG ’15)
I consider myself fortunate to have been able to continue my career at my alma mater—the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH)—and UW Health in emergency medicine (EM) and emergency medical services (EMS). At the UW BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine, I am an EM physician and serve as the medical director for the Madison Fire Department and Dane County Sheriff.
My career path began in high school when I became interested in EMS and began working as an emergency medical technician for the volunteer fire department. This experience increased my desire to advance my medical knowledge and eventually led me to enroll at the SMPH and pursue an EM residency at UW Health. I fell in love with this field because it allows me to help people in their most vulnerable states, which potentially can have huge impacts on their lives and families. This factor and my EMS background grew into my desire to bring a high level of care to the prehospital setting.
Following my residency, I completed an EMS fellowship at UW Health. Through this training, I saw how prehospital services can have a huge impact on the health care system. I am committed to ensuring that all patients who are served by the Madison Fire Department receive high-quality, innovative prehospital care.
Over several years, I have worked to bring EMS education to our EM residents and medical students. As health care systems continue to expand, it is important for all physicians to understand and appreciate the EMS field and the impact it has on our patients.
Kacey Kronenfeld, MD ’12
As an emergency department physician, I practice with Madison Emergency Physicians, an independent group in southcentral Wisconsin, and have partnered with SSM Health Wisconsin to develop a comprehensive emergency medical services (EMS) program for the region.
I care for all types of patients in multiple emergency departments, from tertiary-care centers to a single-coverage critical access hospital. I also spend more than half my time working as an EMS medical director, with the goal of supporting evidence-based emergency care protocols, quality assurance programs, performance improvement processes, and advanced training to help our prehospital providers deliver the highest quality of care.
I appreciate the ability to manage life-threatening situations in any setting. In medical school, I enjoyed my global and low-resource medicine experiences, and I wanted a career with diverse opportunities and variability. Thus, I chose emergency medicine and EMS/prehospital care, and I completed an emergency medicine residency and out-of-hospitalcare fellowship at Indiana University.
Another important aspect of my position is collaborating with local, regional and national partners to assist in optimization and implementation of effective EMS systems. To fulfill this role, I am a member of several groups, including the Wisconsin EMS Physician Advisory Committee, and the National Association of EMS Physicians’ Quality and Safety Committee and its Wisconsin chapter.
I am fortunate to have found my niche in EMS, a field I love.
Aurora Lybeck, MD ’12
I practice emergency medicine at Advocate Aurora Health, Grafton and Washington County Medical Centers, which are north and west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, respectively. I see all types of patients in the emergency department and those cared for by emergency medical services (EMS) agencies for whom we provide medical direction. Always striving to improve and learn is what I most value about my job.
I volunteered as an emergency medicine technician in my hometown while I was a UW-Madison undergraduate and medical student.
I considered several specialties, but the opportunity to keep doing what I love through emergency medicine and EMS won out. When the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education accredited EMS as a subspecialty, it sealed the deal. I completed an emergency medicine residency at Washington University in St. Louis and an EMS fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.
I am active in the National Association of EMS Physicians, the president-elect for the Wisconsin chapter and a board member of the Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
The community of emergency physicians is fantastic, and we have lots of potential to make a positive impact by working with EMS providers, conducting public education, participating in wilderness and event medicine, working with law enforcement agencies, conducting research, and becoming a leader and advocate, just to name a few!
Robert Zemple, MD ’12
After medical school, I completed an emergency medicine residency and an emergency medical services (EMS) fellowship, both at Virginia Tech-Carilion Clinic. I chose this specialty due to influence from my classmate, Dr. Aurora (Reese) Lybeck, with whom I volunteered at the Waunakee-Area EMS before and during medical school.
I practice emergency medicine in the Advocate Aurora Healthcare System in Wisconsin, focusing on Aurora BayCare in Green Bay and working part-time at Aurora Oshkosh. In EMS, I serve communities in the Green Bay area.
I am involved at many emergency medicine and EMS levels, including serving as a co-chair of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s Competition Committee, member of the state’s EMS Physician Advisory Committee, and associate clinical professor for the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and Medical College of Wisconsin. I also serve as a board member of the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Association and the Haiti Medical Mission of Wisconsin, and a member of the Ethics Committee in the Village of Hobart, where I reside.
EMS physicians are fast becoming a staple in the emergency medicine community. I encourage interested medical students to learn how to manage the most complex emergencies both inside and outside the hospital by exploring opportunities in emergency medicine and EMS. I offer shadowing opportunities at any time!