Dr. Sara Sutherland: Professor Emeritus After 14 Years of Service

October 14, 2022 by

doctor Sara Sutherland wearing her white lab coat

Sara Sutherland, MD, MBA, Associate Professor Emeritus of Emergency Medicine

After 14 years with UVA Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Sara Sutherland now enjoys retirement and status as a revered Associate Professor Emeritus. She originally joined the University of Virginia after having a rather impressive and well-rounded career as an Emergency Medicine physician with hospitals along the east coast. It is without a shadow of a doubt that UVA gained a lifetime of experiences when Dr. Sutherland joined the department; skills that we capitalized upon and leaned on heavily over the past 14 years.

During Dr. Sutherland’s career here, she cared for nearly 40,000 patients. She has been sought for her keen ability and educated, experienced intuition in providing on-the-spot care for patients suffering from urgent and emergent conditions. Furthermore, she brought with her a unique set of knowledge and experience-based skills and abilities, which included altitude impact care, a skill she mastered through 12 trips to the Himalayan region as a trek physician with the Wharton School of Business. She has also been recognized as an expert in procedures and training involving thoracentesis.

As an esteemed educator, she dedicated over 2,000 hours to lecture and simulation preparedness and presentations to students in clerkships, electives, lover-level medical students, residents, and fellows. She directly touched the lives of hundreds of students through her teaching and mentoring. She also advised medical students, residents, and fellows in career development and planning.

In 2014, she became the medical director of the UVA Medical Scribe Program. Under her medical directorship, the program nearly tripled in size and now reaches departments across UVA Health, including the Emergency Department. This program impacts the future of medicine, improves school applications, levels some educational hurdles within medical school, and continues to improve the work-life balance and job satisfaction of medical providers across the University. During her time here, she improved patient care as well as provided guidance and direction to over 500 medical scribes transitioning to educational institutions and workplaces around the globe.

She also made her mark as a researcher, writer, and mentor. Recognizing the value of research, Dr. Sutherland acted as a sub-investigator, author, editor, and presenter. She collaborated with her fellow researchers on industry and government-funded projects and protocols.

Doctor Sara Sutherland stands in scrubs in front of a large airplane engine

Sara Sutherland, MD, was the sole physician caring for hundreds of Afghan refugees on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Washington, DC. (Photo & caption credit: UVA Health)

Lastly, she appreciates the value of community and teamwork. She was instrumental in negotiating medical billing and coding issues on behalf of the department. She was also vital to the scheduling of provider coverage. Furthermore, she collaborated on the global level by volunteering on medical mission trips that involved Haiti and Afghanistan refugee transport and care from Qatar to the United States.

Dr. Sutherland has been a team member who values teams, community, and human life. Dr. Sutherland desires to continue to serve the department in an advisory role to the current and next generation of educators, researchers, and practitioners.

Thank you, Dr. Sutherland, for your years of service and countless contributions to education, the Department and University, UVA Health, and so many communities.