Michael Parsa, El Paso
Since 2010, Dr. Michael Parsa has served as an emergency medicine physician and professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in El Paso, Texas. A Creighton University School of Medicine graduate, Dr. Michael Parsa has been involved in the field of emergency medicine since spending his residency with the emergency medicine department at the TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine in El Paso.
Emergency medicine evolved as a field due to the rapidly growing number of patients seeking immediate and unplanned medical care. By 1960, the number of visits to emergency rooms was growing across the country and general physicians, who typically didn’t have the skills to provide proper emergency care, began expressing the need for formal training.
Subsequently, in 1967, a committee on emergency medicine was established by the American Medical Association, followed by the founding of the American College of Emergency Physicians in 1968. The very first residency in emergency medicine took place in 1970 at the University of Cincinnati.
With almost 15 years of experience in emergency medical care, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an associate professor specializing in emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas. As a long-time El Paso resident, Dr. Michael Parsa takes advantage of the abundant outdoor opportunities the region has to offer, including mountain biking, which he’s been doing since his time in medical school.
Every year, approximately 40 million Americans will mountain bike at least once. As a challenging and fun way to exercise, the sport offers the typical cardiovascular benefits in addition to:
1. Reduced Stress and a better mood. The physical demands and the required focus of mountain biking cause the release of endorphins and serotonin, resulting in more energy and decreased stress.
2. Lower impact on joints. When compared to many other sports, mountain biking (a mostly non-load bearing activity) is less stressful to joints because the body is usually in a sitting position, reducing the chance of injury.
3. Improved muscle memory. A dynamic activity that requires constant adjustment by the rider, mountain biking strengthens neural pathways resulting in improved balance and coordination.
4. Improved Memory. A study by Illinois University reported that people who improved their cardiorespiratory fitness by just 5 percent by cycling performed 15 percent better on mental tests.
In his role with the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Parsa serves as an assistant professor and as the clerkship director of emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. Leveraging years of experience working in a foreign country, Dr. Michael Parsa is an integral part of El Paso’s medical community, which provides millions of dollars in healthcare services to area residents at no cost each year.
El Paso’s unique border location provides a stark comparison of the availability and accessibility of medical services in the United States and Mexico. A 2016 review of Mexico’s healthcare system conducted by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reported that the percentage of the country’s population unable to afford health care services had declined to 0.8 percent from 3.3 percent 10 years earlier.
The review found improvement in key indicators, including deaths from heart attacks, infant mortality rates, and patient satisfaction due to the availability of affordable medical services. Additionally, efforts to promote a healthy lifestyle to the Mexican population, such as higher taxes on sugar and better food labeling, also have contributed to the country’s overall improvement in its healthcare system.
Michael Parsa, El Paso
Since 2010, Dr. Michael Parsa has held responsibilities as Paul L. Foster School of Medicine emergency medicine assistant professor with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso. With a strong interest in health issues facing members of underserved communities, Dr. Michael Parsa has volunteered in locales such as Port Au Prince, Haiti, with with Samaritan’s Purse. In El Paso, he co-authored the paper Rethinking HIV Risks among Women on the US/Mexico Border: Alcohol and Latina Sex Behavior.
With unprotected sex with HIV positive males the leading cause of HIV transmission among Latinas, the paper focuses on the extent to which Latina emergency department (ED) patients engage in sexual behavior that puts them at risk. This under-examined topic was explored via a survey handed out to adult female ED patients who were sexually active. The survey included an alcohol dependency screen.
Through multivariable linear regression analysis, Dr. Parsa and his colleagues explored links between drinking and HIV sex risk behaviors. The majority of patients surveyed reported being unconcerned about HIV infection risks, with those who scored positive for alcohol dependency more likely to engage in behavior that entailed risks.
Unfortunately, there was no significant difference between those who were alcohol dependent and those who were not in the level of concern over the health consequences of risky behavior. The paper thus recommended that coordinated preventive interventions be undertaken to increases levels of awareness among young Latina women.
Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM)
Michael Parsa El Paso
Professor Dr. Michael Parsa teaches classes at Texas Tech University, where he serves as full time clinical faculty member. His commitment to medicine and his university extends beyond his professional obligations, and Dr. Michael Parsa accordingly volunteers his time with the school’s student-run free clinic near El Paso.
Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine (PLFSOM) prides itself on its leadership in medical education. In addition to being the only medical school in the United States to require competency in medical Spanish, PLFSOM operates the innovative Medical Student Run Free Clinic. This no-cost medical facility provides care to patients who cannot otherwise afford it in the greater Sparks, Texas, community.
While both students and faculty members volunteer their time in the clinic, it is entirely run by medical students. They handle every aspect of clinic operations, from administrative duties to critical triage decisions. What began in 2013 as a once-monthly clinic has grown to a bi-weekly operation in just three years, thanks to the dedicated all-volunteer staff.
Michael Parsa El Paso
Prior to assuming his post as a full-time clinical faculty member at the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Dr. Michael Parsa of El Paso, Texas, spent more than three years on a medical mission in Papua New Guinea, where he drew on his skills to care for patients at Rumginae Hospital. More recently, in 2016, Dr. Michael Parsa left El Paso for two months to return to Rumginae Hospital as a volunteer.
Located in Kiunga, Rumginae Hospital is a 60-bed facility that oversees five regional health centers, 10 local aid posts, and a training school for community health workers (CHW). Each January, the training school accepts 45 students.
Ruminage Hospital also invites medical students who are in their final year of study and are interested in medical missionary work to spend a minimum of six weeks training and assisting at the hospital. Through the support of these medical missionaries, the hospital can continue to provide its vital services. Along with in-person support, the hospital accepts financial contributions and donations of medicine and equipment.