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Emily Fitz, MD: Educator, emergency medicine leader, medical director, mother, leading education and advocacy to save lives

Dr. Emily Fitz smiles before presenting on a topic at a conference..

A typical day in the life of Emily Fitz, MD, is a whirlwind of responsibilities. Not only is she a physician and assistant professor at the Indiana University  School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine and medical director of the IU Health Tipton Emergency Department, but she is also the president of the Indiana Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (INACEP). Her duties don’t stop when she leaves the hospital, they turn into a different kind of challenge —being a mom to five young kids. Depending on her shift, she’s running to soccer practices and school activities, or cooking and doing laundry for a family of seven. 

Fitz said navigating her various roles requires careful planning, effective time management and simply aiming to juggle it all. 

“Half the time, I feel like I don't,” she joked. 

Most of the time, she said it all comes together thanks to her strong support system, including her husband, who is a surgeon. 

“There's always chaos,” she said. “You have to just accept it, and then I do my best to organize it all.”

Dr. Emily Fitz smiles with her family.

I actually was an engineering major in undergrad, but I really enjoyed the problem solving and the idea of medicine, Fitz said.

After receiving her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Missouri, she and her husband both matched at IU School of Medicine for residency and moved to Indiana where they are now raising their large family.

In addition to her roles as a physician and mom, Fitz is committed to her professional community. As president of Indiana’s ACEP chapter, she plays a vital role in shaping the future of emergency medicine in the state, whether it be advocating for policy changes, mentoring young physicians, or organizing educational events.  

Fitz previously served as vice president of INACEP and shared that one of her biggest accomplishments in 2023 was working with fellow board members and Indiana legislators to pass Senate Bill 400. The bill requires a hospital with an emergency department to have at least one physician on-site 24 hours a day.

Due to her passionate advocacy, Indiana was the first state to pass such a bill. Now other states are following, showing Fitz is a driving force for change in the field.

Advocating for physicians in emergency departments is just one item she is tasked with as president of INACEP. She was also heavily involved in the annual INACEP Conference on April 11. The conference provides community physicians with networking and educational opportunities. This year included the inaugural Rising Star Speaker Series, which allowed a select number of physicians to give a speech on a topic of their choice. It also gave physicians a chance to learn things happening beyond their own emergency departments.

Topics this year included bloody airways, fingernail injuries, neonatal emergencies and more by Drs. Bryce de Venecia, Austin Marrett, Alexandria Weston and Steven Wipprecht.

Dr. Emily Fitz smiles alongside presenters at the Indiana ACEP  conference.

Just 36 days into her new role as president of INACEP, Fitz already has important issues she and the chapter board plan to focus on, such as improving reimbursements from Medicaid for emergency services to hospitals in Indiana.

Previous INACEP president, Dr. Lindsay Zimmerman, said Fitz in this leadership role will help move INACEP forward, "Dr. Fitz is a dedicated and innovative leader that has tackled the concerns of INACEP members with enthusiasmShe will do great things for our chapter and I am excited to see her in this position of authority regarding the important issues facing our specialty."

While the path she has chosen is undoubtedly demanding, it is also deeply rewarding. 

Fitz inspires others due to her ability to navigate life's complexities with grace and determination. And when you add five kids to the mix, it takes a little humility, too.

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Department of Emergency Medicine

The Department of Emergency Medicine delivers patient care of unsurpassed quality and advanced emergency medicine through education, innovation and discovery in a collegial environment that promotes intellectual and professional growth.

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.