Dr. David Sklar

UNM School of Medicine veteran physician David P. Sklar, MD, was recently named the 2014 James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) for his significant contributions to emergency medicine over the years.

Sklar, who joined the UNM School of Medicine (SOM) more than 30 years ago, is UNM Professor Emeritus of Emergency Medicine and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education Emeritus, as well as editor-in-chief of Academic Medicine, Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In addition to being a premier emergency medicine physician, Sklar is an accomplished educator, researcher and scholar, and was recognized as a UNM Distinguished Professor in 2011, the highest honor bestowed on a UNM faculty member. He recently returned from Washington DC where he trained as a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow, developing health policy while debating national cost, access and quality of care challenges.

Arriving at UNM from Stanford University Medical School, Sklar completed his UNM residency in 1978 and joined the faculty in 1980. He was chair of the Emergency Medicine Department from 1993-2007 and still periodically attends rounds in the emergency department. His professional interests range from injury epidemiology research to patient care and disaster medicine.

Sklar’s many experiences in emergency medicine have taken him all over the world, including leading disaster teams in Guatemala and Venezuela; working with patients in Mexico, Philippines, Guatemala and Africa; and teaching in Ecuador, Hong Kong and Mexico. In addition to numerous pioneering academic papers, Sklar authored the book “La Clinica – A Doctor’s Journey Across Borders.” The book explores the complex relationship between American volunteers, of which he was one prior to medical school, attempting to provide medical care to indigent patients in rural Mexico in the early 1970s.

“On behalf of the UNM Health Sciences Center and all of New Mexico, I would like to thank David Sklar for the many years of hard work and unwavering commitment to emergency medicine,” said UNM Chancellor for Health Sciences Dr. Paul Roth. “Dr. Sklar is nationally known for defining emergency medicine as a specialty field and establishing its legal and ethical foundations, and he joins a very small number of individuals who have made so many major scholarly contributions to their fields.”

The James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award is named after the designer of the "Alexandria Plan" for staffing emergency facilities with full-time practitioners of emergency medicine. Award recipients have made a significant contribution to emergency medicine through a variety of avenues, including improved patient care delivery modes, cost containment, quality of care improvements, disaster planning, improved EMS organization, and public education.

"Although I have always taken great pride in the accomplishments of my many talented colleagues, I'm truly honored to receive this award,” Sklar said. “I was given the incredible opportunity to become part of the newly emerging specialty of emergency medicine, but the most meaningful part of my work has been the individual interactions I have with patients and students.”