Emergency medicine is the medical specialty concerned with the care of illnesses or injuries requiring immediate medical attention. As a kind of "primary care" specialty, emergency medicine cares for unscheduled and undifferentiated patients of all ages.
Based on the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences Southwest Campus in Bismarck, N.D., the Department of Emergency Medicine was established in 2019. It's inaugural director is Jon Solberg, MD, FACEP, FAWM.
A native of Stanley, N.D., and 2006 graduate of the UND School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Dr. Solberg trained as an emergency medicine physician at Madigan Army Medical Center, Fort Lewis, Washington, and deployed to a combat support hospital in 2011 at Forward Operating Base Dwyer, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Following military service, he and his wife Agnieszka, also a former military physician, moved several times before coming home to North Dakota in 2017. He is currently the medical director of the Emergency and Trauma Center at CHI St. Alexius in Bismarck, and the medical director of several rural ambulance squads and fire departments.
“UND already does a fantastic job training family physicians and encouraging them to come home to North Dakota,” Solberg told local media when the department was announced. “We hope the same will soon be true for our state’s emergency departments, which historically have relied on recruiting providers educated mostly out-of-state. Creating an independently functioning Department of Emergency Medicine is a logical response to this development, and I’m honored to be the Department’s first chair.”
Solberg is responsible for mentoring SMHS students with regard to emergency medicine career choices, recruiting and retaining clinical faculty in emergency medicine, managing the affairs of the department, and serving as subject matter expert to advise faculty in integrating emergency medicine into the School’s curriculum.
A fellow with the American College of Emergency Physicians and the Academy of Wilderness Medicine, Solberg is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and licensed to practice in California, North Dakota, and New Mexico. He made local headlines last year by serving as the medical officer aboard Expeditions 7, a team which drove specially modified Arctic Trucks for 3,500 miles across the long axis of Greenland, becoming the first humans in the world to have driven a motor vehicle completely across the ice sheet.