TEAM SPOTLIGHT: Richard Phillips, MD, MBA
Regional Medical Director

April 3, 2023

Dr. Rich PhillipsRichard Phillips, MD, MBA services as the Regional Medical Director of our Illinois Emergency Medicine Specialists (IEMS) partner group. He provides charismatic leadership to our Chicago-based team and high-quality, compassionate care to his patients. Dr. Phillips is the Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UChicago Medicine AdventHealth GlenOaks, a 133-bed multispecialty hospital with a 19-bed, Level 2 Trauma Emergency Department. He maintains affiliations with several UChicago client hospitals, including UChicago AdventHealth Hinsdale, LaGrange, and Bolingbrook. Dr. Phillips’ leadership and multidisciplinary collaboration have been invaluable in transforming the patient experience strategy at our Chicago-area partner hospitals. The success of Dr. Phillips’ patient experience program has become a best practice standard within the ECP network of partner groups

Clinical Leadership Experience in Emergency Medicine

After graduating from Harvard College with honors, Dr. Phillips earned his medical degree from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Phillips completed his training at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital through the Harvard-affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency. He also obtained an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Board Certified in Emergency Medicine, Dr. Phillips provides clinical oversight to more than 50 physicians and advanced practice providers as both Chairman for the Department of Emergency Medicine and Medical Director for the Emergency Department. A tireless and innovative leader, Dr. Phillips serves on multiple local and regional committees, including but not limited to Sepsis, Critical Care, Trauma, Quality & Patient Safety, and the Stroke Steering Committee.  

Interview with Dr. Phillips

Q: When did you decide to become a physician?

I have known that I wanted to be a doctor since I was seven years old. My mother was a nurse for over 30 years, so I was exposed to hospitals and the healthcare industry at an early age.  It has always fascinated me how the human body works and the answers that medicine provided when things went wrong. I was asthmatic as a child, so I was in awe when the doctor could make me well. When I graduated medical school, my mother gave me a framed photo of a picture I drew 20 years earlier highlighting my desire to be a doctor. To say the least, my motivations have evolved since that time.

Q: What is your favorite part about working with IEMS and ECP?

The best part of the IEMS-ECP relationship is the trust and mutual respect fostered by the leadership of both companies. This relationship works well because ECP is a consortium of like-minded practices that are the best- of- breed in our respective markets and exhibit the highest ethical standards. Because of this level of trust and respect, IEMS is afforded the autonomy to practice emergency medicine in the way that our local market demands to achieve successful outcomes. 

Q: What do you find most challenging about your job?

The hardest part of this job is not the long hours, or the life events missed, but rather it’s the human hardship we see daily. It’s hard not taking that home with you, and we have been inundated with hardship over the last few years. That said, there is very little that brings me as much joy as saving a life or bringing comfort to someone in pain. That ability to make someone whole again is a responsibility I treasure and do not take lightly. In no other profession can you so directly restore health and well-being to a fellow human being. For me this isn’t just a job; it is my life’s passion.

Q: Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?

When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my wonderful wife, Kijsa, and our three beautiful children. They are getting older now, so this time is usually spent at swim meets, basketball games, and dance recitals/instrumental performances. During my limited free time, I like to take at least an hour a day to exercise. I find it therapeutic to go to the gym, clear my head and sweat out any residual angst.

While this is a challenging profession, it is also incredibly rewarding. I feel blessed to be able to touch so many lives as a result of my chosen work.

About Emergency Care Partners (ECP): 

Headquartered in Pensacola, Florida, ECP is a leading provider of emergency medicine and emergency department management services for hospitals across the U.S. with current operations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. ECP currently sees more than 1,200,000 patient visits annually across operations at 45 sites of service, supported by a clinical workforce of 900+ physicians and mid-level providers. ECP employs a differentiated model relative to other platforms in the industry, highlighted by the ability to maintain ownership through its physician partnership model and for regional/local groups to maintain their branding and clinical autonomy while benefitting from ECP’s resources.

To learn more about Dr. Phillips, IEMS, or ECP, please fill out our contact form.