St. George’s University Grad Wins Emergency Medicine Award

J. Matthew Sasser, SGU 2005, received the 2005 Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award, a prestigious honor awarded by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. SGU is the only non US or Canadian medical school whose graduates have received this award. Dr. Sasser remarks, “My love for EM (Emergency Medicine) has been fueled over the past few years while serving on the executive board of our school’s Emergency Medicine Club,” and his involvement did not go unnoticed.

Soon after students had completed their CPR certification classes in Grenada, Dr. Sasser staged an act on campus to show incoming first-year students that “knowing how to help others means more than just carrying certification cards in their wallets.” Dr. Sasser “collapsed” outside of the SGU lecture halls on the True Blue campus during a break from classes, hoping to see students apply the practices just learned to “save” him. After four minutes, one individual from the gathering students approached and began an assessment. Shortly thereafter, a planned ambulance arrived for J. Matthew Sasser. The demonstration was helped to promote a lecture on “Improvisational Emergency Medicine.” (Dr. Sasser apologized later to University officials since he did not notify them and there was some immediate consternation about his “collapse” on campus).

This kind of innovative thinking and dedication to the real learning process has led to Dr. Sasser’s success. He will start his residency in June at the Penn State University College of Medicine Emergency Medicine Program at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He concludes, “Conversing with my colleagues plants the seeds of superior treatment for exponentially more patients than solely our own. If given the opportunity, I will bring my commitment to learning and my dedication to teaching in your program.”

The Excellence in Emergency Medicine Award brings with it a one year membership in the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, a subscription to the Journal of Academic Emergency Medicine and a certificate from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). In order to be applicable for such an award, the student must be commencing an emergency medicine residency and must submit a personal statement for review.

There were several excellent nominees for this award from the SGU School of Medicine, but Dr. Sasser best exemplified the qualities of an excellent emergency medicine physician – superior clinical, interpersonal, and manual skills, and a dedication to continued professional development leading to outstanding performance on his emergency medicine rotations.

Prior award recipients from SGU include: 2004 – Kevin A. O’Toole; 2003 – Lisa Keough; 2002 – Herald Ostovar; 2001 – Marc Milano.

Published on 05/25/2005