Med Flight Fellowship

The BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine offers a fellowship for interested BC/BE emergency medicine graduates in Critical Care Transport and Helicopter EMS (HEMS) with the UW Med Flight program. The fellowship provides the experience necessary to prepare future HEMS medical directors for this complex role.

FellowFounded in 1985, Med Flight is among the most highly recognized and established critical care transport services in the country and among the few that have flown full-time with a physician-nurse-pilot flight crew configuration since day one. Med Flight’s long history and its status as a model for programs across the country pairs with the University of Wisconsin’s well-regarded and fully accredited EM residency program to form the foundation for the fellowship.

The one-year fellowship is primarily aimed at individuals interested in building their academic and administrative expertise by focusing on the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the medical direction of a HEMS program. The rapid expansion of helicopter programs in the U.S. over the last decade necessitates a strong need for experienced medical direction. Medical directors oversee these programs to ensure that staff is properly trained and appropriate medical utilization of HEMS programs is being followed.

A primary component of this fellowship is flight experience. In order to be effective, HEMS program medical directors must understand the capabilities and limitations of the environment in which flight crews work. This is true for both the aviation and medical aspects of the program. Many residents may find themselves matched to EM programs that offer either no flight experience or very limited ride-along experiences that do not provide adequate background to be effective. This fellowship provides significant flight experience by placing the fellow as the sole flight physician responsible for patient care in our nurse-pilot-physician flight team.

Flight PhysicianBut flight experience, while critical, is just one facet of the fellowship. Clinical experience is supplemented with adequate grounding in the administrative, academic and research components of both flight and Emergency Medicine programs at a major academic medical center. The Med Flight fellowship includes training in all of these areas.

Our fellows also participate in Medical Director courses at AMTC's annual conference and take part in the collaborative and translational research available at the nationally regarded University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

The fellowship is sufficiently flexible to allow for exploration of individual interests. Further education at the master’s level (MPH or MS) is also available at the UW-Madison based upon individual interest.

Interested candidates should send a CV, cover letter, and 2-3 letters of recommendation to the fellowship director, Drew Cathers, MD, at

Interim Medical Director, UW Med Flight
Fellowship Director, UW Med Flight
Assistant Professor (CHS)