Paul Paris, MD, FACEP
Professor, School of Medicine, Secondary Appointment
As teacher, researcher, author and clinician, Dr. Paris has set the precedent for advancing emergency medicine through research, education, quality patient care and administrative leadership. He is internationally recognized as a leader in emergency medicine and is known for his teaching and innovations in acute pain management and prehospital emergency care. The list of titles and offices he holds is just one indicator of his leadership. In addition to being the Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Paris is also the Chief Medical Officer of the Center for Emergency Medicine; the Medical Director of the City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety Bureau of EMS; the Medical Director of the Emergency Medical Services Institute; a past president of the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP); and one of the founding members of the Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine Foundation.
He served as the first director of the University of Pittsburgh Affiliated Residency in Emergency Medicine. In that capacity, he established the nation's first Physician Emergency Response program where doctors provide emergency care in the streets along side City of Pittsburgh paramedics. This program provides a unique aspect of medical training for physicians completing their residency in Emergency Medicine and enhances the level of care offered to individuals with critical illnesses and injuries. "It has always been my belief that in order to properly learn out-of-hospital medicine, physicians need to be on the streets with the medics," Dr. Paris said. Without this field training, Emergency Medicine residents have the medical knowledge without the streetwise know-how. To paraphrase Osler, "It is like learning to sail without going out to sea."
As the Medical Director of the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS, Dr. Paris has been instrumental in advancing the foundation built by Dr. Ronald Stewart. Pittsburgh's emergency medicine system is recognized as one of the nation’s most advanced programs.
Dr. Paris's research, lectures and writings have focused on the management of acute pain. He has been an indefatigable advocate for the humane treatment of acute pain. "There is far too much needless suffering from pain," Dr. Paris said. His work through his books, teaching and mentoring has directly impacted how acute pain in managed in emergency departments today. According to Don Yealy, MD, FACEP, Vice Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, "thousands of patients' pain is currently treated more aggressively and quickly in emergency departments throughout the world due to Dr. Paris's teachings and books. Dr. Paris's research in pain management has altered many previously held ideals of treatment strategies. His work in this area is legendary."
His extensive research in pain management led to the publication of two of his five books, Pain Management in Emergency Medicine and Textbook of Acute Pain Management, and he is an annual speaker for American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) on the subject of pain management.
He was one of the first leaders and founders of the National Association of Emergency Medical Service Physicians (NAEMSP), a professional organization dedicated to the advancement of out-of-hospital emergency medicine, and the Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine Foundation (PEMF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising money to fund emergency medicine research.
Dr. Paris's work has been recognized by colleagues and others in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) community, and he has been honored by state and national organizations with numerous awards including: the Emergency Medical Services Excellence Award by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Ronald D. Stewart Award by the National Association of EMS Physicians for his contributions to EMS, and the Walter J. Thomas Award by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Service Council for superior accomplishments in EMS. He has authored five books, more than 50 abstracts, and has contributed to more than 100 other medical articles and publications.
Dr. Paris grew up in the Stanton Heights section of Pittsburgh, and was a graduate of Peabody High School. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and completed his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1976 and was elected to AOA. He completed an Internal Medicine residency at the Maine Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he completed an Emergency Medicine fellowship. He was certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and became a fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians (FACEP) and the American Board of Internal Medicine.
Throughout his career, Dr. Paris has helped create and advance a variety of organizations and programs to further emergency medicine education, professionalism, and research, and to strengthen communications between emergency medicine professionals around the world.