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Emergency Medicine

Cooley, Craig

Director of Emergency Medicine Services | Director- EMS Fellowship | Associate Professor/Clinical

Personal Statement:

As the EMS Fellowship program director in the Department of Emergency Medicine, my goal is to establish a premier training program in the new subspecialty of EMS medicine. In addition, as EMS section chief, my goal is to improve emergency medicine resident education by increasing exposure to the prehospital care environment, including multiple aspects of both traditional EMS systems and nontraditional prehospital physician response with disaster response, and community Paramedicine. As an Associate Medical Director for the San Antonio Fire Department, my goal is to work with the Office of the Medical Director in the Emergency Health Sciences Department to increase the use of evidence-based treatment protocols as well as provide innovative continuing education for prehospital providers that further incorporates EMS into the overall healthcare system.


2006 - MPH Master of Public Health SUNY-Buffalo School of Public Health (Buffalo, NY)
2006 - Clinical Fellowship EMS SUNY- Buffalo/Erie County Department of Health (Buffalo, NY)
2004 - Residency Emergency Medicine SUNY-Buffalo (Buffalo, NY)
2001 - MD Medicine Texas Tech Health Science Center-School of Medicine (Lubbock, TX)
1997 - BA Biology (cum laude) Austin College (Austin, TX)


Disaster Medicine: I am actively involved in disaster planning and response throughout all levels of healthcare response, from hospital specific, to state and national level response. This work involves developing multiple types of disaster scenarios to provide realistic training to healthcare providers throughout the system, working with all aspects of the emergency healthcare system to plan for and minimize the effects of natural and man-made disasters, and to deploy to austere environments to provide direct healthcare to patients and stabilize healthcare infrastructure affected by unforeseen, large-scale events.
EMS Operations and System Development: As prehospital provider for over 20 years and an EMS physician for over 10 years, I’ve been involved in developing multiple EMS protocols, supervising and educating hundreds, if not thousands, of EMS providers and contributed to multiple research projects in EMS. I have worked in both large urban systems and resource limited rural systems to help to develop EMS systems and I focus on evidence-based prehospital treatments and develop treatment protocols based on the latest science, often against long-standing practices and dogma. This includes changing the approach of airway management, eliminating the unnecessary use of backboards for spinal immobilization, and working to change the way that cardiac arrest patients are treated in the prehospital environment. In addition, I’ve developed two prehospital EMS physician response programs, bringing not only technical skills of advanced EMS physicians to the scene, but also the ability to educate and evaluate system performance of individual prehospital providers and overall EMS system in real time.
EMS Physician Education: As program director for the EMS fellowship, that allows me to pursue my interest in both EMS fellow education and improving EMS education for emergency medicine residents. This provides residents and fellows a better understanding of how EMS fits into the overall healthcare system and ultimately improved patient care.
Global Health EM/EMS System Development: I have been actively involved in Southeast Asia, specifically in Vietnam, in the development of emergency medicine and EMS. As part of this project, I have helped develop country specific emergency medicine and EMS curriculum for the growing subspecialty. I’ve also worked with multiple local healthcare providers in training in EM and EMS in a resource limited environment. I also help develop multiple one and two day training courses for both medical director level and provider level EMS providers in Vietnam.
Tactical EMS: I provide both response capability and training for first responders, EMS systems, healthcare providers, and the general public in level appropriate and evidence-based emergency healthcare in nontraditional and austere environments including care under fire and mass casualty incidents.