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2023 EMS PHYSICIAN OF THE YEAR

Dr. Azeemuddin Ahmed
Dr. Azeem is well known across the state and beyond as a great physician, scholar and all around great guy. I will showcase his many clinical and academic achievements shortly but I want to first address the last item. With all of the responsibility of being a great clinician, leader, mentor and scholar his schedule is quite full. There has never been a time that I have called upon him or met him in the hallway at the University of Iowa while delivering a patient that he has not taken the time to stop and chat a minute. I am always met with a positive outlook and a genuine smile no matter the circumstance. This goes a long ways to feel important to someone we all look up to even if that was the last thing on his agenda for the day.

He has too many to list achievements and awards throughout his career and his active roles are many and the following is just a list of a few:

  • Clinical professor and executive vice chair, Division director and fellowship director, emergency medical services department of
    emergency medicine University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
  • Medical director, bureau of emergency medical and trauma services Iowa Department
    of Health and Human Services
  • Clinical Professor Carver College of Medicine U of I
  • Executive Vice Chair Department of Emergency Medicine U of I
  • Founding EMS Fellowship Director U of I
  • Founding Division of EMS Director Department of Emergency Medicine U of I
  • Medical Director of Kinnick Stadium and Carver Hawkeye Arena
  • Faculty Emergency Physician U of I ED
  • EMS Physician / Director UI Med 1 EMS Physicians
  • Medical Director, Bureau of Emergency Medical and Trauma Services IDPH

One specific call I would like to highlight from working with him resulted in a field amputation of a trapped patient. The call came out as a patient trapped in a piece of industrial machinery in a rural setting with Fire, EMS and Air Transport dispatched as appropriate. Very
shortly into the call it was determined that removal from the machinery was not a possibility due to the size location of the equipment. After much thought, problem solving and exhaustion of options it was determined that a field amputation needed to be done. Local hospitals were contacted with an overly busy day and an MCI with Trauma Alerts coming to the hospital a local option was not a viable plan. The ambulance crew consulted with the air and fire crews and determined that there was a known service from the University of Iowa that could possibly make the drive to help out.

Johnson County Dispatch was called and UI Med 1 physicians were dispatched to the scene. I was medical command on that scene and cannot be more complimentary of the entire process with everyone involved. The crews together managed pain and injuries while waiting for all of the puzzle pieces to come together for a conscious and alert patient. Once we were ready, the entire process of RSI, Ventilation, Field amputation, patient extrication and transport was very efficient with clear communication and defined roles. The location was a below ground confined space with poor lighting and far from sterile, which is certainly not the environment that a physician and surgeon are used to working in. The patient was flown directly to the U of I ED and a full debrief of the events was conducted with all responders before we left the scene. To this day I am incredibly grateful for all of the teams involved in a very complex and methodical process that I am still trying to wrap my head around with a great outcome. As I opened with, this was all met with a positive, can do approach that overwhelmed the demeanor of the scene.

Iím sure this is one of several scenarios that could have been used to showcase the positive, professional and supportive nature that is exhibited with every contact. 

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