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Emergency Medicine Research

Our residency program considers curiosity an important character trait of all successful emergency physicians. We believe research is the process of asking and answering questions in a scientifically valid way. We focus on questions regarding the best ways to deliver care to our patients, the most effective ways to teach and learn as healthcare providers, and how to most efficiently work in teams. Each faculty member and resident engages in meaningful research: some focus on quality projects, some on teaching projects, and some on traditional research.

Ongoing areas of interest include diagnostic applications of ultrasound, sepsis, applications of continuous wave-form capnographic monitoring, use of high velocity nasal insufflation, and optimal resource utilization for vulnerable patient populations. Additional areas of interest include research of adult learning techniques and development and participation of free open access educational material.

Resident Awards

  • Dr. Igor Tkachenko: 2019 Resident Research Award 
  • Dr. Michael Dumas and Dr. Stanton Elseroad: 2017 2nd Place Resident Research Award
  • Dr. Charles Meyer and Dr. Jeff Atherton: MS-4 2015 Southeastern Regional ACEP Resident Research Award
  • Dr. Charles Bevan: 2015 Resident Research Award


  1. Tift FW, Nable JV. Online Medical Control for EMS: A Lecture and Case-Based Teaching Module. MedEdPORTAL. 2020;16:10902. Published 2020 May 15.
  2. Martin RA, Couture, R, Tasker N, et al. Emergency Medical Care of Incarcerated Patients: Opportunities for Improvement and Cost Savings. PLoS One. 2020;15(4):e0232243. Published 2020 Apr 27.
  3. Whittle JS, Pavlov I, Sacchetti AD, Atwood C, Rosenberg MS. Respiratory support for adult patients with COVID-19 [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 13]. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2020;10.1002/emp2.12071.
  4. Doshi PB, Whittle JS, Dungan G 2nd, et al. The Ventilatory Effect of High-Velocity Nasal Insufflation Compared to Non-Invasive Positive-Pressure Ventilation in the Treatment of Hypercapneic Respiratory Failure: a Subgroup Analysis [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 6]. Heart Lung. 2020;S0147-9563(20)30095-9.
  5. Leonard S, Atwood CW Jr, Walsh BK, Whitte JS, et al. Preliminary Findings on Control of Dispersion of Aerosols and Droplets During High-Velocity Nasal Insufflation Therapy Using a Simple Surgical Mask: Implications for the High-Flow Nasal Cannula [published online ahead of print, 2020 Apr 2]. Chest. 2020;S0012-3692(20)30579-1.
  6. Haywood ST, Volakis LI, Whittle JS. Beyond NIPPV: HVNI Expands Potential Treatment Options For Acute Decompensated Heart Failure. AM J Emerg Med. 2019;38(8):1589.
  7. Haywood ST, Whittle JS, Volakis LI, et al. HVNI vs NIPPV in the Treatment of Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: Subgroup Analysis of a Multi-Center Trial in the ED. Am J Emerg Med. 2019;37(11):2084-2090.
  8. Whittle J, Goyal P, Tarrant N, Schuur DJ, Yealy DM, Venkatesh A. Urban and Rural Emergency Department Performance on National Quality Metrics for Sepsis Care in the United States. J Rural Health. 2019 Sep;35(4):490-497.
  9. Walsh BA, Gregorie WD, Whittle JS. Deconstructing Dissections: A Case Report and Review of Blunt Cerebrovascular Injury of the Neck. Case Rep Emerg Med. 2018 Aug 9;2018:6120781.
  10. Doshi P, Whittle JS, Bublwicz M, Kearney J, Ashe T, Graham R, Salazar S, Ellis TW Jr, Maynard D, Dennis R, Tillotson A, Hill M, Granado M, Gordon N, Dunlap C, Spivey S, Miller TL. High Velocity Nasal Insufflation in the Treatment of Respiratory Failure: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Ann Emerg Med. 2018 Jul;72(1):73-83.e5.
  11. Martin RA, Reuhland B, Carlson LS, Love M, Maxwell RA, Whittle JS. Gastropericardial Fistula Presenting 27 Years After Bariatric Surgery. Clin Pract Cases Emerg Med. 2017 Oct 6;1(4)435-436.
  12. Neal M, Culberton MC 3rd, Mendiratta S, Smith BC 3rd, Whittle JS. Boy With Muscle Spasms. Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Sep;70(3):432-440.
  13. Venkatesh AK, Slesinger T, Whittle J, Osborn T, Aaronson E, Rothenberg C, Tarrant N, Goyal P, Yealy DM, Schuur JD.  Preliminary Performance on the New CMS Sepsis-1 National Quality Measure: Early Insights From the Emergency Quality Network (E-QUAL). Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Aug 5. pii: S0196-0644(17)30872-7.
  14. Martin RA, Wharton D, Barker C, Haivas, CH, Kaur B, Whittle JS. Elderly Woman With Altered Mental Status and Hypoxia. An Emerg Med. 2016 Dec; 68(6):778-779.
  15. David J. Barton BS, Frank W. Tift MD, Lauren E. Cournoyer BS, Julie T. Vieth MBChB & Korin B. Hudson MD. Acute Alcohol Use and Injury Patterns in Young Adult Prehospital Patients, Prehospital Emergency Care, 2016 Mar.20:2, 206-211.
  16. Smith BC 3rd, Avila J. M.mode.ify: A Free Online Tool to Generate Post Hoc M-Mode Images From Any Ultrasound Clip. J Ultrasound Med. 2016 Feb;35(2):435-9.
  17. Clinkscales JD, Fesmire FM, Hennings JR, Severance HW, Seaberg DC, Patil N. The Effect of Emergency Medicine Residents on Clinical Efficiency and Staffing Requirements. Acad Emerg Med. 2016 Jan;23(1):78-82. 
  18. Avila JO, Noble VE. The irregular diaphragmatic pleural interface: a novel sonographic sign facilitating the diagnosis of pneumonia. J Ultrasound Med. 2015 Jun;34(6):1147-57. 
  19. Avila JO, Smith BC, Seaberg DC. Use of echocardiography to identify appropriate placement of a central venous catheter wire in the vena cava prior to cannulation. Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;21(8):E1-2. 

Grant Awards

Principal Investigator: Jessica Whittle, MD, PhD

Co-Investigators: Rebecca Martin, MD, PhD and Jenny Holcombe, PhD

$25,000 for one-year award 2019; also obtained additional donations of naloxone (approximate value: $75,000)
Implementing an Emergency Medical Service-directed Overdose Education and Naloxone Leave Behind Program in the Local Community. 
Funded jointly by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Abstract/Research Presentations

  • R. Martin, D Duk, J Holcombe, R Buchheit, S Mendiratta, JS Whittle. "Exploring Barriers to Implementing an Emergency Medical Services Naloxone Leave Behind Program." Society For Academic Emergency Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. May 14-18, 2020.
  • R. Martin, D Duk, J Holcombe, R Buchheit, S Mendiratta, JS Whittle. "Exploring Barriers to Implementing an Emergency Medical Services Naloxone Leave Behind Program." Society For Academic Emergency Medicine Southeast Regional Meeting. Greenville, SC. February 24, 2020.

Invited Lecures/Grand Rounds

"Respiratory Support for Adult Patients with COVID-19." Albert Einstein Hospital, webinar live virtual lecture. Sao Paolo, Brazil. May 8, 2020.
ACEP Expert Panel on Sepsis Member, 2020
ACEP liaison to IDSA for Workgroup on Antibiotic Selection in Sepsis, 2017
Jessica Whittle, MD, PhD, FACEP

Ultrasound of the Week
Ben Smith, MD, FACEP

Last Published: Apr 16, 2021