ACEP Mourns Loss of EM Pioneer


Ronald L. Krome, MD, FACEP (E), the sixth president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, died May 23. He was 77.

Dr. Krome graduated from the Wayne State University surgery residency in 1969 and was assigned staff-oversight responsibility for the Detroit General Hospital emergency room – a position that became necessary after the 1967 Detroit riots.

By the early 1970s, Dr. Krome had begun to develop an emergency physician staff that practiced exclusively in emergency medicine and the emergency department had become a formal part of the hospital’s administrative structure.

In 1971, he joined ACEP and ultimately became a life member.  In 1972, he was chosen editor in chief of JACEP, which became Annals of Emergency Medicine in January 1980, due to the strong credibility established by the publication under Dr. Krome’s guidance.

He served as ACEP President from 1976-77 and was presented the John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award in 1979 for effectively promoting excellence in emergency medicine education.

Dr. Krome was on the team that successfully negotiated recognition for emergency medicine as a specialty in 1979, and chaired the Test Committee appointed to develop the first certification exam. As an active chapter member, he served as a councillor from Michigan for nine years.

A decade after he was president, Dr. Krome received the John D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award in 1987 for his exemplary long-term contribution to both ACEP and the specialty.

Long after completing his tenure as an elected College leader, Dr. Krome continued to be diligent in striving for increased legitimacy of the specialty through expanding the body of research. His contributions to the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Emergency Medicine and his commitment to Annals of Emergency Medicine has had lasting effects on emergency medicine, as has his work as a teacher and mentor of emergency physicians.

In addition to being a past president of ACEP, he was also a past president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM).

He was the first recipient in 1983 of the Michigan ACEP chapter’s Meritorious Service Award, which was then named in his honor. He also published a book, “The Floaters’ Log,” about his emergency department experiences.

He served as chief of the division of emergency medicine at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, as well as chief of emergency medicine at William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI. He attracted many to the field, and mentored many physicians who have since achieved professional prominence.

In 2008, he was named one of ACEP’s Heroes of Emergency Medicine, and reported that his favorite saying was that he receives the greatest joy from seeing his students achieve successes even greater than his.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Emergency Medicine Foundation, PO Box 619911, Dallas TX 75261-9911 or online at www.emfoundation.org/donate.

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  1. #1 by Brian Zink - May 28th, 2013 at 07:52

    A great summary of a great figure in emergency medicine. It can be argued that no one was more important to the developing field of emergency medicine in the 1970’s than Ron Krome. He was a key link between the academic world, where he had excellent credibility and the clinical practice world of EM. One minor note in this posting is that John Van de Luev was actually the first editor of JACEP in 1972, and Ron Krome eventually took over for him when JACEP became Annals of EM.

  2. #2 by Louise B Andrew MD JD FACEP - May 29th, 2013 at 14:06

    One didn’t always agree with Ron, but you had to admire his willingness to say what he felt, and how often in so doing he would reveal some previously unrecognized truth. He taught me, among other things, that people become faculty in medicine because of their clinical excellence, not because of their ability to teach; which in fact one had to learn elsewhere. He was indeed a superb teacher (as a surgeon, don’t know where he learned to be!), and through his effective outreach to many other organizations throughout his career, not only helped to establish EM as a specialty, but ensured its continuing credibility. He will be missed.

  3. #3 by Emanuel Rivers - June 1st, 2013 at 09:11

    A visionary, supreme clinician, scholar and above all just a great person. We all a blessed to have a little of him in us. Because of this, he will live forever. We love you Ron and your wonderful family.

  4. #4 by Emanuel Rivers - June 1st, 2013 at 09:12

    Emanuel Rivers :
    A visionary, supreme clinician, scholar and above all just a great person. We all are blessed to have a little of him in us. Because of this, he will live forever. We love you Ron and your wonderful family.

  5. #5 by Rick Kozak, MD - July 1st, 2013 at 14:40

    I first met Ron Krome at the Long Beach Grand Prix in the early 90s. He was an avid race fan. He volunteered his time to follow and provide race support. I rode in a rescue car with him. On one occasion, I drove him to the site of a wrecked race car. He jumped out to assist the injured driver while cars drove by at over 100 miles per hour. What a guy!

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