Robert Suter, D.O., medical director of the emergency department at Spring Branch Medical Center in Houston, has become the first osteopathic physician to lead the 23,000-member American College of Emergency Physicians.
Suter, 43, was also the first president who, prior to becoming a physician, worked full-time as an emergency medical technician and paramedic. Suter held those jobs throughout his training in medical school at Des Moines (Iowa) University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, according to the ACEP.
"The battle to improve care for the more than 114 million patients we see annually will only be won if we achieve victories in national medical liability reform, reimbursement for federally mandated emergency care, emergency department crowding, and increased access to medical specialists, such as obstetricians and neurosurgeons," Suter said in his inaugural address in San Francisco last week, according to an ACEP news release.
Suter has appointments as associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md. He also is a partner with the Greater Houston Emergency Physicians.
He was co-chairman in 1993 of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's task force that developed a national strategic plan for the emergency medical service system, "Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Agenda for the Future."