RAMS Board

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2023-2024 RAMS Board

  • D Jourdan Headshot - Daniel Jourdan
    Daniel Jourdan, MD, NRP


    Henry Ford Hospital

    Emergency Medicine has always been my calling – four years as a special operations soldier, five as a street paramedic and now my third year of residency – I knew I wanted to do EM and continue operating on the frontlines of medicine even before starting undergrad. As such, it has been my pleasure to serve on the RAMS Board the past few years. It enabled me to be involved in a multitude of projects from starting an online residency fair in response to COVID travel restrictions to advocating for better understanding of and guidelines for Advance Practice Providers in Emergency Departments. However, the challenges facing the specialty continue to grow: an uncertain future job market, unchecked growth of residency training slots, prolonged boarding, diminishing psychiatric resources and continued midlevel encroachment. All factors which certainly contributed to the precipitous drop in EM applicants over the past two years. Yet, these challenges are not insurmountable. I am running for President of RAMS because I believe we need to do more in the face of these challenges. Historically, the RAMS Board has focused its time and efforts contributing to committee objectives and individual projects instead of planning, advocacy and leadership. With the avalanche of challenges facing the profession, I think it more important than ever that the elected leaders of RAMS focus their efforts on meeting the needs of its members with strategic efforts and goal driven advocacy. As President, I will ensure our members have a spot at the table where decisions regarding their future are being made and ensure solutions incorporate our input. I will continue to advocate for limits on midlevel encroachment, stricter guidelines on residency program growth and against the further corporatization of medicine. Most important, I will ensure RAMS continues to meet its members where they are – providing resources, opportunities and advocacy in line with our members’ needs.

  • Mitchell Blenden, MD

    Rams Board/Secretary-Treasurer

    McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University

    Mitchell Blenden, MD, is a PGY-3 at Northwestern University. Dr. Blenden completed medical school at the University of Central Florida and completed his undergraduate work in biomedical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following undergraduate studies, Dr. Blenden worked for four years in biotechnology as a product development engineer. Currently, Dr. Blenden will serve as the RAMS Board Secretary-Treasurer, and RAMS Board liaison to the Awards Committee.

  • Hamza Ijaz, MD

    Immediate Past President

    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

    I did my residency at the University of Cincinnati and received my medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. My interest in organized emergency medicine initially started as a Medical Student Ambassador during SAEM18 where I was given the opportunity to gain mentorship from our leaders within emergency medicine. Since then, I have volunteered my time serving on the RAMS Board as a member-at-large and most recently as the current secretary-treasurer. These opportunities have led me to partnering with the SAEM Program Committee, Faculty Development Committee, and Virtual Presence Committee to create resident and medical student focused content.

    As we transition into the next phase of the pandemic, with growing concerns surrounding the future of the EM workforce, I will ensure that our members have a voice at the table so that our concerns are heard. It is crucial that the solutions being considered incorporate the views of the residents and students they will ultimately affect. In addition, with virtual interviews currently ongoing and uncertainty surrounding the next application cycle, I will make it a priority for RAMS to provide our members with high-yield resources to navigate the next cycle.

  • Profile - DANIEL ARTIGA
    Daniel Jose Artiga, MD


    University of Cincinnati

    My name is Daniel Artiga, and I am a PGY-1 at the University of Cincinnati and received my medical degree from the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. I am honored to currently serve as an SAEM RAMS Board Member-at-Large. There are many projects I would like to continue pursuing and would be excited to serve another term. I truly believe in protecting our specialty’s future and advocating for our residents’ training. To this end, I joined the RAMS Resident Labor Task Force to develop a didactic/panel for SAEM23 to inform members of the historical aspects of resident labor rights and current trends in unionization. Creating educational resources regarding this topic is key to improving our understanding of the forces that define our practice, creating forums for communication, and enhancing our wellness. As the liaison to the Virtual Presence committee and Social Media subcommittee co-chair, I have led multiple efforts to enhance engagement with SAEM’s online content including podcasts and social media posting. I have also led the development of the RAMS Financial Literacy webinar series covering key financial planning strategies to help support residents at the start of their careers. There are many more projects I would like to develop through my next term. For example, the RAMS Board will be piloting a Regional Representative program to increase engagement with EMIGs. Not only am I excited to be a part of this program, I see it as an opportunity to recruit, mentor, and engage a diverse pool of student doctors that are underrepresented in medicine. As a first-generation Latino, I established my connection to SAEM through a mentor and I want to offer that same help to others.

  • Barrera Laura G - Laura Barrera
    Laura Barrera, MD, Capt., USAF


    Virginia Commonwealth University

    Laura Barrera, MD, Capt., USAF earned her Bachelors of Science in Women's Studies at Old Dominion University. She then completed a post-baccalaureate at George Mason University in Biology and went on to attend medical school at The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Barrer has recently earned her wings with the Air Force, making her a certified Flight Surgeon.

    Dr. Barrera's is an active member on the SAEM Program (Didactics) Committee. Additionally, she is also part of the leadership with the Emergency Medicine Resident's Association Government Services, where she served as Chair for the Women in Medicine National Committee with the American Medical Associaton. Currently, Dr. Barrera will serve as a RAMS Board Member-at-Large and RAMS Board liaison to the Workforce Committee.

  • Taylor Brown
    Taylor E. Brown, MD


    Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School

    I am a second-year Emergency Medicine resident physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. I completed undergraduate studies at Stanford University and medical school at Harvard Medical School. I have a passion for trauma-informed care that grew out of a background in sexual violence advocacy. My current academic work focuses on TIC as a broad framework for medical education including domains of educational content (e.g. trauma and health effects, adverse childhood events, and TIC clinical care) and educational context (e.g. faculty development, student advising, and student wellbeing). I am running for re-election to the RAMS board in hopes to continue projects started in my first term. In my work with the Equity and Inclusion Committee, there is a lot of excited around trauma-informed care. I led several didactic submissions to SAEM 2023 and hope to build on this momentum by creating educational content and a certificate program. The RAMS board has been active in the resident labor and wellness space. I hope to continue this work in a second term through education and advocating for our members.

  • Cloessner-Emily - Ly Cloessner Small
    Emily Cloessner, MD, MSPH


    Washington University in St Louis

    Emily (Ly) Cloessner, MD, MSPH, is a PGY-2 resident at the Washington University in Saint Louis. Dr. Cloessner plans on completing her fellowship and then working as teaching faculty. She has been active in SAEM and the Global Emergency Medicine Academy (GEMA). Dr. Cloessner currently serves as a Member-at-Large on the RAMS Board and a staff liaison for the Research Committee.

  • Capture0016_2 - Zoë Fisher (1)
    Zoe Fisher, MD


    University of Texas, Health Sciences Center at Houston

    Zoë Fisher, MD, is class president at the University of Texas, Health Sciences Center in Houston. Dr. Fisher previously served as a Board of Directors Student Representative at Loyola University of Chicago, where she learned to understand the difficulties of running a large scale operation with various interests. Dr. Fisher has served as the Wellness President at Saint Louis University Medical School. Additionally, she currently serves as the Wellness Vice Chief at the University of Texas, Health Sciences Center in Houston. Dr. Fisher's SAEM responsibilities include, RAMS Board Member-at-Large and RAMS Board liaison to the Education Committee.

  • IMG_0063 - Patricia Hernandez
    Patricia Hernandez, MD


    Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Massachusetts General Hospital

    Patricia Hernandez, MD, is a PGY-1 in Emergency Medicine at the Harvard-Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Mass General and Brigham Hospital.

    Dr. Hernandez studied molecular biology and global health policy at Princeton University and then studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hernandez is committed to serving others, specifically within an emergency medicine setting.
    She has served as an SAEM medical student ambassador (MSA) and a member of AEUS. Currently, Dr. Hernandez will serve as a RAMS Board Member-at-Large and RAMS Board liaison to the Education Committee.

  • Reyes Photo - Jennifer Reyes Lin
    Jennifer Reyes Lin, MD, MPH


    Washington University in St. Louis

    Jennifer Reyes Lin, MD, MPH is a third-year Emergency Medicine resident at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Reyes-Lin's interests include community-based participatory and qualitative research, social emergency medicine and palliative care. Currently, she will serve as a RAMS Board Member-at-Large and RAMS Board liaison to the Equity & Inclusion Committee.

  • D0778FE1-E4BA-4B91-8493-ABCEFF3F41D4 - Vanni Rodriguez
    Giovanni Rodrigez, MD


    Mass General Hospital

    Giovanni Rodriguez, MD, is a first-generation Mexican American who obtained her BS in biology at Uuniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, she obtained her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. Dr. Rodriguez is a current emergency medicine resident at the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency at Mass General Hospital /Brigham and Women's Hospital.

    Dr. Rodriguez was the student member of the Indiana University GME Board of Executives for 2 years. Currently, she serves as a resident member for Mass General Brigham Education Committee, and serves on the Mass General Hospital Center for Diversity and Inclusion Resident and Fellow Committee (RFC) , which is an inter-departmental board for underrepresented in medicine (URM) trainees at Mass General. As the Vice Chair, Dr. Rodriguez assists trainees in getting involved in the larger Harvard and Boston communities, residency recruitment, and social and networking events for trainees.

    Dr. Rodriguez's SAEM experience includes, former AWAEM Newsletter Committee member and Resident Member for the AWAEM Executive Committee. Currently, Dr. Rodriguez will serve as a RAMS Board Member-at-Large and RAMS Board liaison to the ED Administration and Clinical Operations Committee.

  • blue shirt headshot - Stephanie Balint
    Stephanie Balint

    Medical Student Representative

    Quinnipiac University

    My name is Stephanie Balint and I am an M2 at Quinnipiac University in CT. Prior to medical school, I worked as an EMT, National Guard Healthcare Specialist, ED RN and now APRN, so I applied to medical school specifically to become an ED physician. Despite being in the emergency environment for so long, I have never lost my enthusiasm for the specialty. I applied to be RAMS Medical Student Representative to work on EM projects and help foster enthusiasm for the specialty among my peers. The position afforded me the opportunity to do just that. I have had so much fun working on EM projects, finding opportunities to share with my peers, and support the wonderful people I have been able to work with over the past year as RAMS Medical Student Representative. I was able to work on projects related to women’s health in EM, participate in the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Taskforce, the #StopTheStigmaEM campaign, a video on workplace violence, and Pulse articles about moral injury as well as spaced repetition in learning. I would like to continue working on projects like these and continue to learn from the SAEM and RAMS Board leaders from whom I have learned so much this past year.

  • LaurenDiercksPicture - Lauren Diercks
    Lauren Diercks

    Medical Student Representative

    University of Texas Southwestern

    I am a third year medical student at UT Southwestern going into EM, and I am excited to pursue my interests in Quality Improvement and Ultrasound. I have been involved in SAEM since my first year of medical school in a variety of capacities. I have submitted abstracts to present at the annual meeting and served as a Medical Student Ambassador. Serving on the RAMS board has been an enriching experience that I have deeply enjoyed. Specifically, I have valued my experience in serving as the RAMS liaison to the Membership Committee. The focus groups I helped to facilitate and analyze as a member of the Membership Committee enhanced my understanding of how RAMS and faculty can get the most out of their SAEM membership. I am eager to use this experience to determine how RAMS can optimally support students interested in EM through focused surveys. I would use these surveys to inspire EMIG event ideas and ensure that RAMS is meeting the needs of medical students interested in EM.