Michael Pulia, MD, MS

Director, Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases Research Program

Director, Emergency Medicine Antimicrobial Stewardship

Assistant Professor (Tenure)

Affiliate Faculty, UW-Madison Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering


  • Undergraduate: Illinois Wesleyan University
  • Graduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Medical School: Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine
  • Residency: University of Illinois Medical Center - Chief Resident


Dr. Michael Pulia is a tenure track Assistant Professor and Director of the Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases (EC-ID) Research Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also Director of Emergency Medicine Antimicrobial Stewardship. In these capacities, he leads a health services research program focused primarily on improving infectious disease diagnosis, infection control, and antimicrobial stewardship in the emergency department and downstream care settings. Dr. Pulia’s program has been supported by intra- and extramural sources, including the Wisconsin Partnership Program and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Dr. Pulia has been an invited expert speaker at national and international conferences including IDWeek, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine. In 2015, he was awarded the Barry M. Farr Humanitarian Award from the MRSA Survivors Network in recognition of his efforts to raise public awareness of bacterial resistance related to the overuse of antibiotics. He served a five-year term as Chair of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine’s (AAEM) Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force. In this capacity, Dr. Pulia represented AAEM at the 2015 White House One Health Forum on Antimicrobial Stewardship and the 2018 CDC Global Antimicrobial Resistance Challenge Kickoff event during the UN General Assembly. This task force was successful in raising awareness among thousands of emergency care providers about antimicrobial resistance and best practices in stewardship, culminating in the development of an antibiotic stewardship pledge for emergency care providers.

Leadership Positions

American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Quality and Patient Safety, ED Antibiotic Stewardship Workgroup Consultant
Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Subcommittee Co-Chair

Committee Memberships

UW School of Medicine and Public Health Student Research Committee 
UW Health Antimicrobial Use, Infection Control and Outpatient Antimicrobial Stewardship
Wisconsin Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) in Long-Term Care Coalition (more information)
European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, ED Antibiotic Stewardship Guideline Workgroup


Wisconsin Institute for Healthcare Systems Engineering (WIHSE) Collaborator

Current Research Interests

Antimicrobial Stewardship
Emergency Care for Infectious Diseases
Geriatric Emergency Medicine

Recent Honors, Media Mentions, and Presentations


  • Dr. Pulia gave an educational presentation at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine 28th Annual Scientific Assembly titled, "Cutting Edge Antibiotic Stewardship for the Emergency Department" in Baltimore, MD (April 2022). This session highlighted emerging literature related to improving antibiotic stewardship in the emergency department, including critical updates around best practices in the use of antibiotics for sepsis, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, and skin infections, as well as a discussion of the recent changes to the CMS SEP-1 antibiotic measure for sepsis and ongoing controversy related to this quality metric.
  • Dr. Pulia presented and accepted an award for Best Faculty Oral Presentation at the 30th Annual Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Forum for "Comparing Interspecialty Diagnostic Confidence and Accuracy of Cellulitis Diagnosis" by Gladhill G, Schwei R, Pulia MS (presenter). (April 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to give a Grand Rounds lecture at the UC San Diego Emergency Medicine Residency program titled, “Human Factors Engineering to Improve Emergency Department Antibiotic Stewardship” (April 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia gave a poster presentation at the Dysphagia Research Society 2022 Annual Meeting titled, “Dysphagia and Sarcopenia Frequently Co-Occur in Older Adults with Community-Acquired Pneumonia” (March 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia gave an educational presentation at the Emergencies in Medicine Park City Conference titled, “Implementing Innovations in Infection Identification” (February 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia interviewed by The Lancet Infectious Diseases regarding the 2021 Surviving Sepsis Campaign update. Click here to read the editorialThe Lancet Infectious Diseases is the world-leading infectious diseases journal. (January 2022)
  • Dr. Pulia receives distinguished Four Pillars Alumni Award from Nazareth Academy high school in La Grange Park, Ill. The award acknowledges and honors alumni who are thriving in their communities or careers and continue to represent the school’s four pillars of Scholarship, Service, Spirit and Unity.


  • Dr. Pulia delivered an invited guest lecture to the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency entitled "Human Factors Engineering to Improve Emergency Department Antibiotic Stewardship." (November 2021)
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to serve as a Technical Expert Panel Member with the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium for Project: NQF Measure Development for Over-Diagnosis of Pneumonia and UTI (October 2021).
  • Dr. Pulia presented two posters at the Diagnostic Error in Medicine 14th International Conference (SIDM2021): "Validation of Skin Surface Thermal Imaging to Differentiate Cellulitis from Pseudocellulitis in the Emergency Department" & "Misdiagnosis of Cellulitis in the Emergency Department: A Threat to Public Health and Patient Safety" (October 25-25, 2021).
  • Dr. Pulia presents abstract at ID Week 2021 new approaches to diagnostics poster session: "Skin Surface Thermal Imaging to Differentiate Cellulitis and Pseudocellulitis in the Emergency Department" (Oct. 2021).
  • Dr. Pulia successfully moves from K08 to R01 funded research with a highly competitive $2.4 million AHRQ grant, of which approximately only 5% of all submissions are funded annually (Sept. 2021). The grant is titled "Characterizing the ImPact of COVID-19 on Antibiotic PreScribing in AcutE Care and IDentifying Resilient Stewardship Strategies (POISED)."
  • Dr. Pulia was invited as a guest lecturer for the University of Wisconsin Department of Surgery Voice and Swallow Clinics Lecture Series. His lecture, titled "COVID-19 Updates: Epidemiology, Treatment, Infection Control and Dysphagia," is available to watch online here. (Sept. 2021)
  • Dr. Pulia presents an oral abstract at the 2nd World Dysphagia Summit in August 2021, "Prevalence of Dysphagia among Older Adults with Suspected Pneumonia in the Acute Care Setting." The virtual Summit was originally intended to be held in Nagoya, Japan.
  • Dr. Pulia honored with the EM Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship 2020-21 from the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine.
  • Dr. Pulia awarded the 2021 Distinguished Service Award from the Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
  • Dr. Pulia received the Best Overall Presentation Award at the 29th annual Wisconsin Emergency Medicine Research Forum (April 2021) for a study titled, "Comparison of Skin Surface Temperature Measurements between Patients with Cellulitis and Pseudocellulitis in the Emergency Department."
  • Dr. Pulia invited to give the opening plenary session at the Dysphagia Research Society's 29th Annual Meeting, an international meeting with over 700 participants attending from more than 30 countries. The session discussed COVID epidemiology, transmission, and infection control and was voted People’s Choice for Best Presentation by attendees selecting from more than 80 invited speakers. Pulia was also invited to give an oral research presentation on the second day of the conference regarding his work on dysphagia profiles and management patterns in emergency department patients with COVID-19.


  • Dr. Pulia presented during a national webinar in December 2020 hosted by Vizient, the largest member-driven, health care performance improvement company in the country. As a member of the 2020-2021 Vizient National Research Project Team - Antimicrobial Stewardship, Pulia led the initial portion of the webinar, "Impact of COVID-19 on Antimicrobial Stewardship in Acute Care: National Research Project Kickoff," discussing the impact of COVID-19 on emergency medicine antibiotic prescribing practice. View the webinar recording.
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to present at the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders annual Meet the Masters event. The event is an ongoing continuing education course that consists of seven pre-recorded sessions from dysphagia experts to provide timely, critical information about the assessment and treatment of dysphagia during the COVID pandemic. Dr. Pulia's session, "SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19: A Primer for Deglutologists," provided a broad overview of the pathophysiology underlying SARS-COV-2/CoVID-19 and its clinical manifestations.
  • Dr. Pulia served as an invited expert for the Delphi procedure on a recent paper that developed quality metrics for ED antibiotic stewardship. The Delphi procedure is a method of congregating expert opinion through a series of iterative questionnaires with the goal of coming to a group consensus.
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to serve on the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases ED Antibiotic Stewardship Guideline Committee. This international group is working towards creating standards for ED stewardship.
  • Dr. Pulia co-chairs the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Emergency Medicine/Urgent Care Antimicrobial Stewardship Subcommittee.
  • Dr. Pulia was invited to present with the Baystate Institute for Healthcare Delivery & Population Science (IHDPS). Dr. Pulia's live presentation in November 2020, titled "Human Factors Engineering Applied to Antibiotic Stewardship" was part of Baystate IHDPS's Research in Progress Seminar series.
  • Dr. Pulia invited to present during the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR): Project Echo COVID-19 Clinical Rounds. The peer-to-peer learning network is broadcast to over 30 countries. "Operational Redesign to Enhance Infection Control During the COVID-19 Pandemic." Watch a recording of the session and download the corresponding presentation.
  • Dr. Pulia invited to present UW emergency medicine antibiotic stewardship research to hospitals in the National Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Antibiotic Stewardship Centers of Excellence Network. The webinar had over 120 medical centers in attendance. "Building Bridges to Improve Antibiotic Stewardship in the ED."
  • Dr. Pulia’s article, “COVID-19: An Emerging Threat to Antibiotic Stewardship in the Emergency Department,” was featured in an August 2020 issue of the Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy – Antimicrobial Stewardship Project (CIDRAP-ASAP) Newsletter.
  • Dr. Pulia invited to serve on the International Dysphagia Research Society COVID-19 Task Force (2020-2021 term).
  • Dr. Michael Pulia receives an Exceptional Mentorship Award from the UW Undergraduate Research Scholars Program for the 2019-2020 academic year.
  • Dr. Pulia interviewed by The Times of London. "Nearly a third of prescriptions for antibiotics in the US may be given to patients who have not been examined by a doctor," published 5 February 2020.
  • Dr. Pulia provides commentary in The Wall Street Journal. "Patients Often Get Antibiotics Without a Doctor Visit, Study Finds," published 3 February 2020.


Characterizing the ImPact of COVID-19 on Antibiotic PreScribing in AcutE Care and IDentifying Resilient Stewardship Strategies (POISED) 
Source: AHRQ R01
Role: Principal Investigator

Wisconsin Real-time Emergency Department Surveillance and Responsive Training (WIRED-RT)
Source: Wisconsin Partnership Program
Role: Co-Principal Investigator

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Loan Repayment Award 
Source: National Institutes of Health
Role: Awardee

Redefining Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Older Adults: The Role and Impact of Aspiration
Source: UW Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education
Role: Principal Investigator

The Multicenter REgistry of potential COVID-19 in emERgency care (Project RECOVER)
Source: Indiana University
Role: Site Principal Investigator

Utility of Thermal Imaging in Diagnosis of Cellulitis for Lower Extremity Complaints in the Emergency Department
Source: BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine Pilot Research Award
Role: Principal Investigator

Engineering Safe Care Journeys for Vulnerable Populations
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) R18
Role: Collaborator