WU physicians certified in new medical subspecialties

Ten Washington University physicians recently became certified in new medical subspecialties — five in clinical informatics and five in emergency medical services.

Board certification exams were offered for the first time in each subspecialty in October.

Newly certified in clinical informatics are: Phillip Asaro, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine; Daniel Helsten, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology; Walton Sumner, MD, associate professor of medicine; Keith Woeltje, MD, PhD, professor of medicine; and Feliciano “Pele” Yu Jr., MD, associate professor of pediatrics and chief medical information officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Newly certified in emergency medical services are: David K. Tan, MD, Brian R. Froelke, MD, and W. Scott Gilmore, MD, all assistant professors of emergency medicine; Mark D. Levine, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine; and Bridgette B. Svancarek, MD, instructor in emergency medicine. All five are part of Washington University EMS, the state’s only licensed, physician-based emergency medical response agency (EMRA).

The American Board of Preventive Medicine and the American Board of Pathology administered certification exams in clinical informatics. The American Board of Emergency Medicine oversaw the EMS exams.

EMS, also known as pre-hospital medicine, is now one of seven subspecialties in emergency medicine. The others are medical toxicology, undersea and hyperbaric medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, critical care medicine, sports medicine, and hospice/palliative care medicine.

“This represents a significant achievement for our EMS faculty and demonstrates how the subspecialty of emergency medical services is evolving,” said Tan, who is also the director of Washington University EMS.

Clinical informatics is a marriage of clinical medicine with information technology (IT).

“With the use of health information and communications technology, clinical informatics can help us make better decisions, provide quality care and improve care-delivery processes,” said Yu, who is also medical director of the Pediatric Computing Facility at Washington University. “There are tremendous benefits that can come from this field. It’s a great asset to have experts at the university certified in this cutting-edge field.”

Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient-care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.