Dr. Michael Parsa of El Paso

Serving Local and Global Communities

Longtime El Paso, Texas resident Dr. Michael Parsa is committed to making a positive impact in his community and in communities around the world. He volunteers monthly at the El Paso Baptist Clinic, where he sees patients on a pro bono basis, and he also volunteers at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine’s student-run clinic in Sparks, Texas. Additionally, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an expert panel member for the Texas Medical Board, evaluating whether medical care subject to consumer complaints has met the standards of care.

Alongside this work, Dr. Parsa is a member of the Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team deployed in response to international disasters. In 2011, he traveled to Port Au Prince, Haiti to provide medical care to people suffering from cholera, and in the wake of the 2016 earthquake in Ecuador, he was part of an emergency response team working in Chone, Ecuador. For his humanitarian work, he was elected to the Gold Humanism Honors Society.

Aside from his community endeavors, Dr. Parsa is an assistant professor of medicine at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and director of the university’s emergency medicine clerkship program. Currently, he is conducting research into how to inspire greater empathy amongst medical students. He earned his MD and completed an internship in internal medicine at Creighton University, later undertaking a residency in emergency medicine at Texas Tech University.

Competitions at the 22nd Annual AAEM Scientific Assembly

Drawing on his experience as a board-certified emergency medicine physician, Dr. Michael Parsa has served El Paso’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine as an assistant professor and clerkship director since 2010. Outside of his responsibilities at the institution, Dr. Michael Parsa is a volunteer physician at El Paso Baptist Clinic and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

Established in 1967, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) represents the interests of medical professionals working in the field of emergency medicine. Along with advocating for these physicians, the AAEM hosts a number of events and conferences. One of these, the Scientific Assembly, celebrated its 22nd installment in February of 2016 with a five-day event that offered attendees educational sessions and guest speaker presentations, as well as the following competitions:

- The AAEM/JEM Resident and Student Abstract Competition, which encouraged members in the early stages of their medical careers to submit their research findings. Eight individuals were given the opportunity to orally present their research at the assembly, with the winner receiving a $3,000 honorarium.

- The Diagnostic Case Competition, which was open to a broader spectrum of AAEM members. Participants were limited to a five-minute presentation, followed by a 20-minute discussion and a closing, 10-minute final diagnosis. Judges considered the quality of the presentation and discussion, as well as the accuracy of the final diagnosis.

- A photo competition, for which attendees submitted significant pathology specimens, Gram stains, or other relevant visual content. Short case histories were required for each submission, and the exhibit’s entrants were judged based on quality, relevance, and “educational merit.”

- The Emergency Medicine PA Fellowship Challenge Bowl, at which teams of physician assistant fellows faced off in friendly competition.

- Open Mic, which offered each of the 16 attendees who signed up in advance the opportunity to conduct a 25-minute lecture, with the two top speakers having the opportunity to speak at the 2017 Scientific Assembly.

Alpha Omega Alpha Membership Election Process and Criteria

Michael Parsa, MD, an accomplished emergency medicine physician in El Paso, splits his time between serving as an expert panel member for the Texas Medical Board, assistant professor and clerkship director at Texas Tech, and member of Samaritan's Purse disaster assist response team. Over the years, Dr. Michael Parsa of El Paso has demonstrated a strong understanding of medicine and he is a member of the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha.

Since 1912, Alpha Omega Alpha has been recognizing and promoting good teaching, outstanding academics, and humanism among its members. Unlike social Greek organizations, Alpha Omega Alpha members must meet certain guidelines for membership and be elected by their local chapter. This process starts roughly 16 months before a class is expected to graduate from medical school. With the students’ permission, the chapter councilor receives a list of the class’ top quartile. From this list, up to one-sixth of the students can be elected for membership. One-half of these students are elected in the spring of their third year and the remainder can be elected some time between the fall of their fourth year and graduation.

Elected members are chosen based on their high academic standing, as well as their demonstration of leadership among their peers, firm sense of ethics, and professionalism. Alpha Omega Alpha also requires that elected members be committed to service in their community and the school and strive for success in medicine. Due to these additional requirements, even some students with extremely high GPAs do not qualify for membership.

Scholarships and Contests for Medical Students - Alpha Omega Alpha

Dr. Michael Parsa, a resident of El Paso, Texas, serves as an assistant professor at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University. In addition to his work with the El Paso school, Dr. Michael Parsa is active with Alpha Omega Alpha.

Alpha Omega Alpha is America's national honor society for medical professionals. By recognizing talented leaders and educators who embody the principles of humanism, Alpha Omega Alpha helps improve the medical profession and the art of healing.

As part of its commitment to excellence in medical education, the honor society makes a number of awards, grants, and scholarships available to qualified physicians and medical students. Medical students with literary talent may participate in the 2017 Helen H. Glaser Student Essay Awards competition, which requires them to create a scholarly essay or creative narrative relevant to the medical community. Winners receive a cash prize as well as the honor of having their work published in The Pharos, Alpha Omega Alpha's journal.

Entries for the 2017 competition are due by January 31, and winners will be announced on May 1.

ABEM and ABA Create Combine Residency Training Program

Over the course of more than a decade, Michael Parsa, MD has built a successful career as an emergency medicine physician in El Paso, Texas, and Santa Maria and Lompoc, California. An assistant professor and clerkship director at Texas Tech University in El Paso, Dr. Michael Parsa is a diplomate of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).


As part of its continual efforts to improve emergency medicine, the American Board of Emergency Medicine launched a combined anesthesiology and emergency medicine residency training program alongside the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) in mid-2016. Although this is not the only combined training program that the ABEM has created over the years, the new program will prepare residents for certification in both specialties. Both the ABA and ABEM hope that the combined program will enhance multidisciplinary residency training while also improving patient care.

The combined residency training program requires all residents to complete 60 months of combined education before they can earn dual certification; both programs must verify this education. For students wishing to also complete a four-year residency in emergency medicine, the duration of training is increased to 72 months. After completing all five or six years of the required training, residents can take the initial certification exams for either the ABA or ABEM.