Emergency Medicine

Emergency Medical Services Fellowship

The Emergency Medical Services fellowship is a collaborative effort between Stanford University and the Santa Clara County EMS Agency. The strength of our fellowship is the participation of both institutions; which allows the fellow to explore the many aspects of EMS and learn all the skills necessary to work at any level within an EMS system. The fellowship has two directors who provide guidance and training. Dr. Gregory Gilbert is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Division of Emergency Medicine at Stanford University and the Medical Director for Life Flight. Dr. David Ghilarducci is the EMS Medical Director for the County of Santa Clara.

Emergency Medical Services is becoming an increasingly important part of the health care system. An Institute of Medicine report released in June 2006 highlighted the need for strong leadership to make the system more effective. The EMS fellowship aims to train these leaders by giving them a broad knowledge base and allowing time for additional efforts in areas of interest.

EMS has many aspects, all of which can be explored through our close contact with many providers and agencies. Below are some of the highlights of the Fellowship. This list is by no means comprehensive and only represents some of the many opportunities for our fellows.

EMSThe structure of the program allows the fellows tremendous insight into how a local EMS Agency functions. Fellows work approximately 8 days per month at the agency and participate in numerous committees. The agency managers help the fellow learn how the county interacts with the stakeholders.

The state of California is looking into regionalization of certain specialty services. As a result, the Bay Area EMS agencies have started meeting on a regular basis to discuss issues such as trauma care and pediatric specialty care. Dr. Ghilarducci and Mr. Bruce H. Lee, EMS Agency Administrator, participate in these meetings and invite the fellows as well.

Dr. Ghilarducci and Mr. Lee are both very active in the state organizations of EMDAC and EMSAAC, respectively. The fellows attend these statewide quarterly meetings to learn how the different EMS agencies within the state interact and learn from each other. In addition, fellows have the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Cesar Aristeiguieta, who works in Sacramento as the director of the California EMS Authority.


Membership in NAEMSP is provided. Presenting at the national meeting is also encouraged. In addition, Stanford University puts on an annual National Conference for EMS.

EMS InternationalThe program at Stanford allows the fellows to participate in a unique opportunity to learn about international EMS. Dr. S.V. Mahadevan, Assistant Professor and Associate Chief of the Division, is actively working on bringing emergency medical services to India. The current system is rudimentary and fragmented. Dr. Mahadevan is providing leadership and training to help create a more viable system. The fellows have an opportunity to travel to India and learn about creating the basics that we take for granted here in the United States.


Stanford Life Flight is an aeromedical service provider based at the University and conducts both interfacility transports as well as scene calls. It is one of the last hospital-based aeromedical services in California. Fellows learn about the management of a provider agency and also get the opportunity to fly along with the helicopter crew.


Disaster medicine is an emerging area with many new professional opportunities. One of the leaders, Dr. Eric A. Weiss, is faculty in the Stanford Division of Emergency Medicine and is in charge of Disaster Preparedness for Stanford Medical Center. Fellows have the opportunity to learn about disaster planning at many different levels. The Santa Clara County EMS Agency recently released its Multiple Patient Management Plan, which serves as a model for event planning on the county level. Dr. Weiss is also EMS Director for San Mateo County, allowing even closer collaboration between the EMS agencies for the two huge population centers of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.

Stanford University is a world renowned university that provides countless educational resources. The fellows work as associate course directors for the university course for training EMT-Basic providers. In addition, the fellows interact with the residents during shifts and also provide didactic lectures. There are also numerous other opportunities to teach physicians, residents, nurses, and pre-hospital personnel.

Provider Agencies:
Santa Clara County is home to a number of different provider agencies. Ambulance service in the city of Palo Alto is provided by the Palo Alto Fire Department. The transport in the rest of the county is provided by American Medical Response, a private ambulance company. Many of the medical directors for the various provider agencies work as attendings in the Stanford Emergency Department and are eager to work with the fellows to enhance their experience.

A two year fellowship with an advanced degree is preferred, though a one year fellowship is also an option. The fellowship is funded through clinical time working as an attending at Stanford as well as through a generous educational stipend provided by the County of Santa Clara. The educational stipend covers all related travel and lodging expenses, and can also be used towards an advanced degree in a two year fellowship.

For more information on the fellowship, please contact:

Gregory Gilbert, MD
Medical Director, Stanford Life Flight
Co-Fellowship Director
Division of Emergency Medicine
701 Welch Road; Suite C
Palo Alto, CA 94304
(650) 723-6576

David.Ghilarducci, MD
EMS Medical Director, Santa Clara County
Co-Fellowship Director
Santa Clara County EMS Agency
645 South Bascom Avenue, 1P138
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 885-4250


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