Meet the Board
Following graduation from medical school I served a tour of duty in Afghanistan. There I engaged in regular combat patrols and provided care to a small team of infantry and special operators in a remote valley. Following my 10 month tour of duty I came back to work in a unit called Army South where I partnered with other countries to provide medical care to impoverished and indigent populations in remote South and Central America. We worked amongst and served the community in an effort to try and stem the violence and human trafficking associated with “Trans-National Organized Crime”. Following two and a half great years doing this I realized that I had hit the glass ceiling for adventure in the Army given my level of training and was seeking more! At the time orthopedics seemed to be calling my name, but over time I realized that the O.R. just didn't have the allure to me that it did to others. I kept going back to the desire for variety and the ability to be a beacon of strength when others were in situations of vulnerability. Emergency Medicine seemed to fit my personality better. I spent three great years in San Antonio learning how to be an emergency physician under the tutelage of some really great docs that helped me transition from soldier to doctor.
I took my first post residency job at a high acuity trauma center with a "small democratic group" that was neither “small" or “democratic”. I quickly learned a lot about the practice of medicine and more importantly the business of medicine. I started asking questions about the partnership process, about scheduling, and about billing and found my questions to be unwelcome. Though respectful I was interested in learning how the group worked and found the “open books” to be quite tightly closed. Over time I began to realize that there was not transparency within the group at all. This lead to friction within the senior leadership of the group and I eventually became aware that I was unwelcome.
After parting ways with the group I went into locums and fell in love. I got to work in some really great places and exploreed many parts of America that I otherwise wouldn’t have. I learned to appreciate the harvest seasons of Western Colorado, the Latino flavor of El Paso, and the quirky artistry of New Mexico. I had always pictured locums as the thing that residents and washouts did, but discovered that it was far different from that. It was freedom. I controlled my schedule! I controlled my income! I could work my butt off for a few months and then go to Thailand and the Philippines for a month and then work my butt off and take a 10 day ski trip with friends. When I was on the road I controlled my diet, exercised more, and had time to focus on introspection, goal setting, and self actualization. When I was home with friends and family; I was home! I became enthralled with the dichotomous life I had built. Locums made me become comfortable with uncertainty. It made me learn to explore uncertainty rather than fear it. It helped me see opportunities in a non-linear progression through life.
“We must set aside the life we have planned so we can live the life that is waiting for us!” -Joseph Campbell
Currently I split my time between locums and teaching at an academic program on the east coast. Teaching is fun! Working with residents is invigorating and has refreshed my love of learning. They ask me hard questions. They make me better. I'm going home and looking things up again! Im excited to come in as “the community guy” and share my experience with the residents from a fresh perspective. In addition to working with them clinically I aspire to help them appreciate the value in the present. One of my goals in taking this job was to help them appreciate the residency environment for what it is instead of imaging what life will be like when they are “out”, Life isn’t lived for tomorrow. It’s finding meaning wherever you are and whatever you are doing today! Abraham Maslow spoke to the plateau experience (in addition to his more famous work on the hierarchy of needs) which is the idea that a well lived life consists of seeing joy in the everyday. Too many of us lack this perspective and this is where burnout happens.
Eric is currently a member of the CAL/AAEM Board and a practicing Emergency Physician at Kaiser Permanente and the historic, 120-year-old, Chinese Hospital in San Francisco's Chinatown. Before college, he enlisted in the Air Force, then the Air Force Reserve, where he served as a flight-medic. He studied Molecular & Cell Biology at UC San Diego, then graduated from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, before completing his Emergency Medicine Residency at the University of Chicago.
Eric has a full breadth of experience working in all kinds of hospitals and with diverse patient populations throughout California, Illinois, and Kansas. His primary focus on the Board of CAL/AAEM is protecting Emergency Physicians from exploitation by large CMGs (contract management group) and defending their autonomy and due process. Aside from Emergency Medicine, he has a particular interest in insulin resistance and metabolic disease. He is boarded with the American Board of Obesity Medicine and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).
Hometown: Tenafly, NJ
Undergrad: New York University (NYU)
Medical School: Rutgers - New Jersey Medical School
Residency: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Favorite Thing About Your City: NYC - Non-Stop Energy and Drive, Diversity
Professional Interests: Entrepreneurship, Mentorship, Admin and Leadership
Hobbies: Feeding my mind, body and soul relentlessly
"Medicine is the science of uncertainty and the art of probability" -Sir William Osler
"Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth" -Shirley Chisholm (1st AA woman in Congress)
Scott Hickey, MD FAAEM is a practicing emergency physician in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. After completing emergency medicine residency and serving as chief resident at MCV/VCU, he remained as an attending physician and emergency medicine faculty for two years. He subsequently transitioned to community practice and has served in various leadership roles. Scott was the emergency medicine chairman and system medical director for a system that included three acute care hospitals and two freestanding emergency departments. He helped lead the system through Virginia’s trauma-designation process and earned Level I status. As a medical staff leader, Scott has served in all hospital executive board positions including Chief of Staff. Scott most recently served as President of the Virginia chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has been professionally compensated as an employee, partner, and independent contractor. Scott is particularly passionate about scope of practice, due process, and fair compensation models for emergency physicians.
Scott and his wife Sue reside in rural Virginia with their four children, two dogs, one cat, and 20-something chickens.
Erica Salaman, DO FAAEM
Dr. Erica Salaman, DO FAAEM is a board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician who trained at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Dr. Salman’s entrepreneurial spirit and love of travel lead her to pioneer a full-time locum tenens practice in emergency medicine. Spanning twelve states and a complete range of trauma level environments, Dr. Salman’s locum tenens business model was widely adopted by many physicians. Dr. Salaman is a passionate advocate for high quality care to be delivered by emergency medicine trained physicians in equitable work environments. She is currently honing her healthcare business skills as the Physician Advisor for the AmitaHealth system. In her spare time, Dr. Salaman’s acrylic painting and cooking save her from her science while her hiking and travel allow her to remain connected and creative.
Chief Medical Officer
Mitchell Li, MD FAAEM
Mitchell Li, MD is a board certified emergency physician and Chief Medical Officer for the newly created American Academy of Emergency Medicine Locum Group (AAEM-LG). Dr. Li grew up in Marlborough, MA, trained as a Wilderness EMT before working as an EMT in the Boston area and studying Health Science and Health Policy at Northeastern University. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2013 and completed a residency in emergency medicine at St. John Hospital in 2017. Dr. Li is passionate about corporate medical practices that exploit patients and physicians.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the AAEM Physician Group (AAEM-PG) while transitioning to the role of CMO of AAEM-LG, advocating for fair and transparent work environments for emergency physicians. Dr Li works as an independent contractor in emergency departments; he is developing a private, transparent, direct-care practice predicated on price transparency and a patient-physician relationship without the influence of third parties while promoting physician latitude to practice medicine with professional autonomy.
He currently lives in Chicago, IL, and is a father to one cat and many plants. Prior to COVID19, Dr. Li enjoyed motorcycle trips, snowboarding, occasional SCUBA trips, and is looking forward to a vaccinated world. He enjoys cooking with cast iron and craft cocktails.