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Dr. Walt A. Stoy, professor and Emergency Medicine (EM) program director, is all about raising the bar for his students. He encourages them to set goals and then pushes them to go one step further. He seeks to broaden their horizons. To see the value in hard work. And to be true to their passion for emergency medicine.

Since the program began in 1997, students have been living up to his expectations.

“There’s a certain type of person who is drawn to emergency medicine,” muses Stoy. “They’re assertive. Independent. And very competitive.”

These characteristics make EM graduates very employable. “We have 100 percent placement out of our program,” Stoy boasts.

While many graduates go on to excel in the field of emergency medical services, others use their EM degree as a springboard to careers in related professions. The diversity of fields they choose speaks to the caliber of Pitt’s EM program and the foundation it lays for future success.         

Lyndsey Buriak (BS EM ’08, MS PA ’11) is quick to tell you that the Emergency Medicine program instilled an excitement in her about the medical field that has never gone away. “It taught me to challenge myself and learn to trust what I had been taught,” she explains.

Now, as a physician assistant (PA) in a family medicine practice in Houston, Buriak evaluates and treats acute conditions and helps to manage chronic illnesses in patients.

“My experiences in the EM program helped me learn how to manage my responsibilities in the most productive way. They also taught me how to adapt to various situations and think quickly in stressful situations while caring for patients,” she recalls.