Social Emergency Medicine Program

“The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.”

~Sir William Osler (1849-1919)

Rising to the challenge

We, as emergency medicine physicians, are action-oriented by nature. When faced with a problem, we rise to the challenge, roll up our sleeves, and get to work- no matter how grueling or humbling the task. At first glance, the problem in front of us may seem insurmountable–our efforts, futile. Yet, we tackle it head on, working side-by-side to create something beautiful amidst the chaos. Emergency medicine is an “in the trenches” specialty. Whether we are rushing a patient to the cath lab or CT scanner, running a medical resuscitation, or evaluating a patient in a crowded hospital hallway, we constantly find ourselves knee-deep in the complex issues that have plagued our society from the very beginning: trauma, social injustice, poverty, homelessness, mental health disorders…the list seems endless and daunting. Yet we, as action-driven emergency medicine physicians, recognize our unique ability to address these issues, because we grapple with them on a daily basis. Therefore, we rise to the challenge, roll up our sleeves, and work side-by-side to enact meaningful change–in our emergency rooms, and in our community.



A resident-run program committed to incorporating a patient’s social context into their care, in order to better address their needs, both in and outside of the emergency room. This is a collaboration between University of Miami Miller School of Medicine & Jackson Health System emergency medicine residents, faculty, and medical students. While this is an emergency medicine-driven initiative, we are also excited to collaborate with other specialties within the Miami health district.




A four-pronged approach to tackle some of the core issues that we, in emergency medicine, are best equipped to address:

1. Community Outreach: Create a more meaningful and lasting presence in the Miami community, by organizing tangible, long-term service opportunities for residents, faculty, and students, and forming partnerships with existing service and outreach programs in our city.

2. Access to Care: Link chronically ill patients, high emergency room utilizers, and those without the financial means for basic health resources to outpatient social programs and primary care. Centralize the existing resources within our own UM-JHS health system and educate residents, faculty, and students about incorporating such resources into their daily practice.

3. Social Justice: Tackle issues of health inequity and injustice, such as women’s health, adolescent health, trauma, domestic violence, and human trafficking, through awareness and education initiatives. Form partnerships with other subspecialties in order to provide resources and regular healthcare to victims of injustice and health inequity.

4. Curriculum Integration: Incorporate Social EM issues into the 18-month residency didactic curriculum in a way that fosters a deeper understanding of the social determinants of health and their impact on healthcare.

Current Projects in Progress (Spearheaded by the EM Resident Leaders):

  • Stop the Bleed Campaign (Collaboration with Ryder Trauma Center)
  • ED-driven MAT and Addiction Medicine Initiatives
  • ED Pilot Program (Partnership with UM DOCS): Linking high-utilizers with chronic medical conditions to affordable primary care resources during their ED visit
  • JHS Community Resource Guide (to be ultimately integrated into the EMR)
  • Social EM-centered Simulation, Conference, and Journal Club sessions, along with workshops during Intern orientation
  • Resident & faculty preceptor positions in UM’s medical student-run, free clinics and health fairs (Partnerships with UM DOCS and UM Street Medicine)
  • HIV Screening Quality Improvement Initiatives in the Holtz Pediatric ED
  • Health fair & fundraising initiative for survivors of gun violence
  • Mental health support for trauma survivors (partnership with Psychology)
  • Access to GU/GYN resources and outpatient followup for adolescents (partnership with the Adolescent Health Clinic)
  • ED-driven Quality Improvement Initiatives: Addressing the care of incarcerated patients, homeless patients, and victims of human trafficking and domestic/sexual violence

Our Team

Associate Program Director and Social EM faculty leader: Patricia Panakos

Are you interested in joining these efforts? Please reach out to for more information!