Solberg named chair of new UND Department of Emergency Medicine

Jon Solberg, MD, FACEP, FAWM, has been named chair of the inaugural Department of Emergency Medicine at UND’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS). Solberg is a Stanley, N.D., native and 2006 graduate of the SMHS.

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,” said Solberg, “and 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.”

In his new role, Solberg will be 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.

“Over the past decade, the School has been successful in retaining more of its graduates for practice in the state,” commented Joshua Wynne, M.D., vice president for health affairs and dean of the UND SMHS. “With the leadership of Dr. Solberg in the newly established Department of Emergency Medicine, we expect that students interested in a career in this discipline will be exposed to exciting learning experiences and eventual practice opportunities close to home.”

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.

“I have a sincere love for teaching and mentoring,” Solberg continued. “As a former ROME [Rural Opportunities in Medical Education] student and ER physician in rural hospitals, I understand and appreciate what it will take to staff our state with quality ER physicians. As chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, students will have access to my diverse background in the military, in academic and rural emergency departments, and in wilderness medicine, mission work, and the EMS community.”

Dr. Solberg will give a presentation in the School’s Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium (Room E101) at noon on Thursday, March 14 (lunch provided), and a welcome reception will be held for him at 1 p.m. on that same day in the School’s West Atrium. RSVP for the noon presentation here.