Thomas Kirsch Thomas Kirsch
Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine

Office Phone: 202-741-2911
Email: Email
Department: Emergency Medicine


  • BA, Creighton University, 1980
  • MD, University of Nebraska College of Medicine, 1984
  • MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 1986


Dr. Kirsch is an Adjunct Professor of Emergency Medicine.  He also serves as Professor and Director of the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH) at the Uniformed Services University.   Before coming to GW and NCDMPH he was a Professor of Emergency Medicine, International Health and Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

He has worked in disaster settings for organizations such as the CDC, FEMA, the U.S. Departments of Defense and State, the WHO, PAHO and UNICEF, and American and Canadian Red Cross; responding to U.S. events such as hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Harvey, and the NYC 9-11 terrorist attacks and global disasters including earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, New Zealand, and Nepal; floods in Pakistan, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Ebola epidemic in Liberia.    

In addition to his real-world disaster experience Dr. Kirsch is a globally recognized researcher and educator who has lectured extensively nationally and internationally on emergency medicine and disaster issues and taught numerous courses in disaster and emergency health and public health.  He has authored over 140 scientific articles, editorials, and textbook chapters, and co-authored the medical textbook, Emergent Field Medicine (VanRooyen-Kirsch).  

His major awards include the inaugural ‘Disaster Science Award’ from the American College of Emergency Physicians (2013), the Clara Barton Award for Leadership from the American Red Cross (2014) and a commendation by President Obama in the White House as one of the Nation’s, ‘Heroes in Healthcare Fighting Ebola’. 

Tom’s hobbies include walking, reading, writing.  He has hiked over 800 miles in the Grand Canyon and completed a 1,000 mile walk through the in mountains in California a couple summers ago.


Kirsch TD, Keim M. US governmental spending for disaster-related research, 2011-2016: Characterizing the state of science funding across five professional disciplines. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2019 Jun 19:1-8. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2019.14. [Epub ahead of print]

Kirsch T, Keim ME, Strauss-Riggs K. Characterizing the Current State of Training Courses Available to US Disaster Professionals. Dis Med and Public Health Prep, 2019; 1-7. doi:10.1017/dmp.2019.15.

TariVerdi M, Miller-Hooks E, Kirsch T, Levin S. A Resource-Constrained, Multi-Unit Hospital Model for Operational Strategies Evaluation under Routine and Surge Demand Scenarios, IISE Transactions on Healthcare Systems Engineering. 2019;9(2): 102-119. doi: 10.1080/24725579.2019.1584132

Goolsby C, Rouse E, Rojas L, Goralnik E, Levy MJ, Kirsch TD, Eastman AL, Kellermann A, Strauss-Riggs K, Hurst N. Post-Mortem Evaluation of Potentially Survivable Hemorrhagic Deaths in a Civilian Population. J Am Coll Surgeons, September 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2018.08.692.

Leeper WR, Haut ER, Pandian V, Nakka S, Dodd-o J, Bhatti N, Saheed M, Dalesio N, Miller C, Schiavi A, Hunt E, Kirsch T, Berkow L. Multidisciplinary Difficult Airway Course: An Essential Educational Component of a Hospital-Wide Difficult Airway Response Program. J. Surgical Ed. 2018 Apr 5. pii: S1931-7204(17)30684-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2018.03.001.

Courtney CS, Kirsch TD. Orthopedic Knowledge and Need in the Provincial Philippines: Pilot Study of a Population Based Survey. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018 Jun;33(3):293-298. doi: 10.1017/S1049023X18000122. Epub 2018 Apr 23.

TariVerdi M, Miller-Hooks E, Kirsch T. Strategies for Improved Hospital Response to Mass Casualty Incidents. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2018, March 19, 1-13. doi:10.1017/dmp.2018.4.

Goolsby C, Jacobs L, Hunt RC, Goralnick E, Singletary EM, Levy MJ, Goodloe JM, Epstein JL, Strauss-Riggs K, Seitz SR, Krohmer JR, Nemeth I, Rowe DW, Bradley RN, Gestring ML, Kirsch TD. Stop the Bleed Education Consortium: Education program content and delivery recommendations. J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2018 Jan;84(1):205-210

Goolsby C, Strauss-Riggs K, Goralnick E, Klimczak V, Gulley K, Rojas L, Godar C, Raiciulescu S, Kirsch TD. Brief, Web-based Education Improves Lay Rescuer Application of a Tourniquet to Control Life-Threatening Bleeding. AEM Education and Training, March 2018,

Goolsby C, Hunt RC, Goralnick E, Singletary EM, Levy M, Goodloe J, Epstein JL, Nemeth I, Rowe DW, Bradley RN, Gestring M, Kirsch TD. Stop the Bleed Education Consortium: Education program content and delivery recommendations. J. Trauma & Acute Care Surg 2018;84(1):205-210

Shahpar C, Kirsch TD. In Townes DA, Gerber M, Anderson M (ed.), Health and Humanitarian Emergencies- A Field Guide for Public Health Practitioners and Healthcare Providers. Cambridge University Press, 2018. Book chapter.

Levin S, Toerper M, Hamrock E, Hinson JS, Barnes S, Gardner H, Dugas A, Linton B, Kirsch T, Kelen G. Machine-learning-based electronic triage more accurately differentiates patients with respect to clinical outcomes compared with the Emergency Severity Index. Ann Emerg Med. 2017 Sep 6. pii: S0196-0644(17)31442-7. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2017.08.005. [Epub ahead of print]

Kirsch TD, Moseson H, Massaquoi M, Nyenswah TG, Goodermote R, Rodriguez-Baraquer I, Lesser J, Cumings D, Peters DH. Impact of interventions and the incidence of Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia—implications for future epidemics. Health Policy and Planning 2017;32(2):205-214.

Margolis G, Kirsch TD. Tube Thoracostomy. In Roberts and Hedges (ed.), Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine, 7th Ed., W. B. Saunders Company, 2017. Book chapter

Jacquet G, Kirsch TD, Sauer L. Health care access and utilization after the 2010 Pakistan Floods. Prehosp Disaster Med 2016;31(5);485-491.

Kirsch TD, Circh R, Goldfedder M, Bissel R. ‘Just-in-Time’ personal preparedness- Downloads and usage patterns of the American Red Cross Hurricane Application during Hurricane Sandy. Dis Med Public Health Prep. 2016;10(5):762-7.

Dugas A, Kirsch TD, Toerper M, Levin S. An Electronic Emergency Triage System to improve patient distribution by critical outcomes. J Emerg Med 2016;50(6):910-8.

Smart BJ, Haring SR, Asemota AO, Scott JW, Canner JK, Nejim BJ, George BP, Alsulaim H, Kirsch TD, Schneider EB. Tackling causes and costs of ED presentation for American football injuries: a population-level study. Am J Emerg Med 2016; 34(7):1198-204.

Chang MP, Simkin DJ, Lordes de Lara M, Kirsch TD. Characterizing the hospital admissions to a tertiary care hospital after Typhoon Haiyan. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2016;10(2):240-7.

Sugarman J, Kass N, Rushton CH, Hughs MT, Kirsch TD. Translating professional obligations to care for patients with Ebola Virus Disease into practice in non-epidemic settings. Dis Med Public Health Prep; 2015;9(5):527-30.

Lee C, Doocy S, Deli A, Weiss W, Kirsch T and Robinson C. Measuring Impact: A Cross-Sectional Multi-Stage Cluster Survey to Assess the Attainment of Durable Solutions in Post-Tsunami Aceh, Indonesia. BMC Public Health. 2014 Nov 17;14:1168. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1168.

Carlson LC, Rogers TT, Kamara TB, Rybardczyk MM, Leow JL, Kirsch TD, Kushner A. Petroleum pipeline explosions in sub-Saharan Africa: A comprehensive systematic review of the academic and lay literature. Burns. 2014 Sep 16(14); 282-4. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2014.08.013.

Weiss W, Kirsch TD, Doocy S, Perrin P. A comparison of the medium-term impact and recovery of the Pakistan flood and Haiti earthquake- Objective and subjective measures. Prehosp Dis Med 2014 29(3):237-244

Sauer LS, Catlett C, Tosatto R, Kirsch TD. The utility of and risks associated with the use of spontaneous volunteers in disasters. Prehosp Dis Med 2014;8(1): 65-9.

Jacques C, McIntosh J, Giovannezi S, Kirsch TD, Wilson T, Mitrani-Reiser J. Resilience of the Canterbury Hospital System to the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. Earthquake Spectra 2014; 30(1): 533-54

Johnston D, Standring S, Ronan K, Lindell M, Wilson T, Cousins J, Aldridge E, Ardaugh MW, Deely JM, Jensen S, Kirsch TD, Bissell R. The 2010/2011 Canterbury Earthquakes: context and cause of injury. Nat Hazards 2014; 27:627-637. doi:10.1007/s11069-014-1094-7.

Doocy S, Jacquet G, Cherewick M, Kirsch TD. Injury burden of the Haiti 2010 earthquake: A stratified cluster survey. Injury 2014; 44(6): 842-847.

VanRooyen M, Kirsch TD, Holiman CJ, Clem C. Emergent Field Medicine: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Book

Industry Relationships and Collaborations

This faculty member (or a member of their immediate family) has reported a financial interest with the health care related companies listed below. These relations have been reported to the University and, when appropriate, management plans are in place to address potential conflicts.

  • None