The members of The Emergitones have two main things in common: They are all talented musicians, and they are all emergency physicians. Those shared interests were enough to bring five band members from all over the country—Michigan, California, Florida, and New York—together to form a jazz band built on principles that transcend both music and medicine.
“As emergency physicians, we kind of play jazz in our work life,” explained founding member Earl Reisdorff, MD, FACEP, executive director of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM). “With jazz, you have a melody line and a chord structure, which is kind of your harmonic road map, and you just take off and go. It’s not unlike working in the emergency department. You’ve got fundamental skill. Wherever the patient takes you, that’s where you go.”
The Emergitones got its start when Dr. Reisdorff and his longtime friend Greg Henry, MD, FACEP, discovered a shared interest in music. Dr. Reisdorff, a pianist, and Dr. Henry, a drummer, started sitting in as part of the jazz trio that plays during the opening reception for the annual Michigan College of Emergency Physicians meeting. Dr. Henry heard Julliard-trained clarinetist Martin Rossip, MD, playing saxophone during an ACEP wellness event and soon recruited him to join the group. Then they connected with Judith Dattaro, MD, a vocalist from New York City. The most recent addition to the group is Larry Hobbs, MD, FACEP, a bass player from Fort Myers, Florida. The Emergitones play together during various emergency medicine events, including the Wiegenstein Legacy Society reception at ACEP18.