James Phillips was born in raised in Midwest City, Oklahoma, and his life was forever changed by the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995. His father, a 25-year veteran of the OKC Fire Department, was one of the very first rescue workers to enter the building that day, forever shaping his son’s ideas of courage, responsibility, and leadership. James graduated as a Top Ten Senior from Oklahoma State University where a full-scholarship allowed him to focus on a dual degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. During college he worked as a Burn/Wound Care Technician at the Silverstein Burn Center. Within Phi Delt, Brother Phillips served as the President of his Phikeia Class (52 men), Recruitment Chairman and Social Chairman.
James then matriculated directly to the University of Oklahoma where he completed his medical degree. During medical school, Dr. Phillips lifelong interest in Emergency Medicine persisted, but a decision was made to compound on his prior burn experience and enter into the Integrated Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After completing four years of residency, Dr. Phillips made the decision to pursue his original career choice.
In June of 2010 Dr. Phillips entered the Emergency Medicine Residency at the University of Illinois Chicago, one of the specialties oldest and largest programs. He garnered several awards during residency, including being selected as the residency’s Outstanding Researcher Award recipient for best original research. During this time he presented his research at several local and national meetings, including ACEP 2012. He graduated in December, and was accepted as the first ever Fellows in Disaster Medicine at BIDMC from the United States.
After completing his residency in Emergency Medicine and a Fellowship in Disaster Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical School, a Harvard teaching hospital, he was hired as full-time academic faculty at BIDMC in Boston and as an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. His specialty is Disaster Medicine and is the Director of the newly announced Counter-Terrorism Medicine Fellowship – the first of its kind in the world.
Today, James Phillips, MD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine physician, an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University Hospital, and serves as the section Chief of Emergency Preparedness and the Co-Director of the Disaster Medicine Scholarly Concentration.
Dr. Phillips lectures and researches several topics, most notably Healthcare Workplace Violence, Disaster and Counterterrorism Medicine, and Tactical (SWAT) Medicine. His most recent paper, Workplace Violence Against Healthcare Workers in the United States, was published in April 2016 in the New England Journal of Medicine. He is a 2014 graduate of the Harvard Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management Fellowship, and was the first Director of Counterterrorism Medicine as faculty in that Fellowship. He functioned as a Tactical Physician for the MA State Police SWAT Team for three years. In 2017 he was selected as a Fellow in the Emerging Leaders in Biosecurity Initiative at the Center for Health Security in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.