Slovis to step down from top Emergency Medicine roleAug. 30, 2019, 10:26 AM
by John Howser
After serving more than 27 years as Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, Corey Slovis, MD, has decided to step down. To ensure a smooth transition, he will continue to serve as chair until completion of a national search to identify his successor.
After stepping down Slovis will remain on the faculty and continue to be actively engaged as a resident and student educator and to serve the city as medical director for the Nashville Fire Department and Nashville International Airport.
He was recruited to Vanderbilt in 1992 to lead a department that began with six clinical faculty who aspired to create a residency program. Emergency Medicine has since grown to include 60 faculty and is one of the nation’s most renowned departments for its clinical expertise, highly sought residency and fellowship programs, and for being one of the nation’s leaders in research. In 2018, the department was ranked No. 10 among peers in overall research funding from the National Institutes of Health.
VUMC’s Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments are among the nation’s busiest, caring for more than 130,000 patients each year. The Emergency Department, along with the Vanderbilt Trauma Center and Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center, combine to offer Middle Tennessee’s only Level I adult and pediatric trauma services.
The department also has a premier Emergency Medical Services division that offers ground, air, tactical, airport and event medicine, and provides medical direction for Metro Nashville’s Fire, EMS and SWAT personnel.
“We are grateful for Dr. Slovis’ many years of outstanding service to Vanderbilt and the broader Nashville community. Corey’s passion for teaching has had an international impact on the learning environment for emergency medicine residents and medical students. Among his legacies as chair is the large number of trainees who have gone on to leadership roles elsewhere,” said Jeff Balser, MD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer for VUMC and Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Under Slovis’ leadership the department has also established a Division of International Health for residency training. Residents and fellows can pursue training opportunities in Georgetown, Guyana, where they are able to teach and provide clinical care.
“During Dr. Slovis’ tenure millions of patients have passed through the doors of our emergency departments where the faculty, nurses and staff are always ready to treat anything imaginable. Through their service a remarkable number of lives that would otherwise be lost are saved. I want to thank Corey for his leadership and all that he has done over the years to advance clinical services for the betterment of our patients,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Health System Officer for VUMC.
Famous for his “five things” approach to lectures, Slovis teaches daily and continues to publish regularly with hundreds of peer reviewed publications, numerous book chapters, and has co-authored three books.
He is the recipient of numerous professional accolades and was most recently awarded the Judith E. Tintinalli Outstanding Contribution in Education Award from the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has also won the American College of Emergency Physicians Speaker of the Year Award and the Hal Jayne Award for Academic Excellence from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.
Slovis was one of the first members of the Vanderbilt faculty to be named a Master Clinical Teacher and has been selected as Best Clinical Professor by the graduating medical school classes at every institution where he has taught, having won this award seven times in his career. He is a triple recipient of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s Shovel Award, which is given by each year’s graduating class for the best clinical professor. He is also a triple recipient of the Keith Miner Ford Excellence Award for Best Clinical Professor from the University of Rochester School of Medicine. He also received the Best Clinical Professor award from Emory University School of Medicine.
“My proudest accomplishment is to have been part of creating a Department of Emergency Medicine at Vanderbilt, and watching it grow and flourish into one of the best departments in the country,” Slovis said. “Many different departments of emergency medicine are known for one thing; however, we’re known for research, EMS, our teaching, our residency, and the fact that we have essentially every subspecialty of emergency medicine doing exceedingly well or being one of the very best in the country.”
There are two professional awards named in his honor. The Corey M. Slovis Award for Excellence in Education, presented to those who have provided the emergency medical community with incomparable educational achievement and who possess the unique ability to facilitate substantive learning among the public, emergency care providers and colleagues, awarded is annually by the U.S. Metropolitan Municipalities EMS Medical Directors Consortium. The other award is the Corey M. Slovis Award for Bedside Teaching, presented to the Emergency Medicine faculty member who has contributed the most to resident bedside education, awarded annually by the Emergency Medicine residents.
“Dr. Slovis has been a giant in emergency medicine for four decades. His contributions, impact and legacy are impossible to summarize because he has touched so many. He taught an entire generation of doctors how to be doctors, taught Vanderbilt what emergency medicine is, and taught us all how to enjoy every moment we have with each patient, student and colleague. He loves emergency medicine and he loves Vanderbilt. And emergency medicine and Vanderbilt love him back,” said Wesley Self, MD, MPH, vice chair for Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine.
Slovis completed residencies in internal medicine and emergency medicine at Emory University and Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He is board certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine and emergency medical services.
Before joining VUMC, Slovis was medical director of Emergency Medical Services for Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta and served as director of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York.
Over his 27-plus years at Vanderbilt Slovis says memories that stand out the most are the people.
“When I was being recruited they kept telling me Vanderbilt was collegial and collaborative. After a while I really thought it was like the party line. But after being here more than 27 years, it really is collegial and collaborative. My fondest memory is dealing with so many potentially horrible events and instead finding there was always a team at Vanderbilt wanting to make it better and to fix the problem,” Slovis said.