Dr. Matt Talbott

Doctor’s career started as a teenager with EMS agencies

From a high school volunteer to a certified EMT to a fellow specializing in EMS, one new UTMB doctor knows emergency medicine from the ground up.

Dr. Matt Talbott joined UTMB this summer as an assistant professor of Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services at the John Sealy School of Medicine.

He is working on a curriculum for future emergency medicine residents and finding opportunities for them to get first responder experience. That means working with EMS agencies.

“For a resident, EMS exposure involves riding on the ambulances and fire engines or riding in a helicopter,” Talbott said. “It also can be learning how to be a medical director or provide medical direction for a fire or EMS agency.”

Talbott was a fellow at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University in its Emergency Medical Services Fellowship Program. While there, he worked with area EMS crews to respond to emergencies, provided tactical medicine support and learned about providing medical direction.

The emergency fellows also provided support for mass gatherings, such as sporting events and concerts. In Augusta, Georgia, that included The Masters golf tournament.

“We would staff The Masters tournament all week with the local EMS agencies on course and in the first aid stations,” he said.

Talbott and the other EMS fellows had a physician response vehicle to respond to 911 calls for a three-county area covering about 1,700 square miles.

“We went on calls where we could potentially make a big difference and support the Advanced EMTs and paramedics on scene,” he said.

Talbott envisions having a similar response vehicle for UTMB emergency residents.

“It helps them see what it’s like in the field because it can be vastly different from having a patient show up in your ER where it’s a very controlled setting versus providing patient care on scene, which can be completely chaotic,” he said.

In high school, Talbott began volunteering for a rescue squad when he got his EMT certification. He continued to volunteer with EMS through college and medical school.

Talbott is open to being a resource for area EMS agencies either to present lectures, provide training sessions or to give advice.

“You know, ultimately, I want to be a resource to help improve pre-hospital care and the community and the region,” he said. “I’m helping the Galveston Fire Department develop its tactical medicine program.”

Working on ambulances and flying on a helicopter, Talbott has seen some tough cases—the worst involving children, he said.

“That reinforced my desire to continue doing EMS-related things,” Talbott said. “It’s challenging, tough and rewarding all at the same time, but when you do have a good save, it makes all the hard work worth it.”