Former student comes full circle to serve as medical director at San Jacinto

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Dr. Mark Escott attended San Jacinto College in 1993, and now serves as medical director of the North Campus’ Emergency Medical Technology program.

San Jacinto College alumni Dr. Mark Escott says he is "coming full circle" as he returns to his alma mater to serve as the medical director of the North Campus’ Emergency Medical Technology (EMT) program.

Escott attended San Jacinto College in 1993 as an EMT student, and went on to attend Rice University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies. He holds a master’s in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, and a MD from Flinders University. He served his Emergency Medicine Residency at Penn State University, where he served as assistant professor of emergency medicine.

Escott is an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine’s Houston campus. He also serves as the medical director for Rice University EMS, the Montgomery County Hospital District, and as the associate medical director for Cypress Creek EMS. He serves on the board of directors of the EMS section of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

In his new role as the medical director at San Jacinto College North, Escott will provide valuable consulting, teaching, and evaluating services. His duties in the part-time contract position will include curriculum evaluation, quality improvement, classroom instruction, and clinical evaluation of students.

When he attended San Jacinto College in 1993, he never imagined he would some day return to serve as medical director at the College. "I knew that I would be an emergency medicine physician, but had no idea that I would come full circle," he commented. "But such has been the case in other areas of my career. I started as an EMT volunteer at Cypress Creek EMS, and now I am one of the medical directors. I founded the EMS service at Rice, and now I am the medical director there as well. I found all of these programs to be high quality, and I think that is what motivated me to be a part of them again."

Serving in so many capacities means Escott is a very busy man. Yet, he was willing to take on even more duties as medical director at San Jacinto College.

"I think that it’s important to recognize your roots and where you come from," he remarked. "I also think it’s also important to give back to institutions that have given me something so important. I learned some valuable lessons as an EMT student at San Jac, some that I will never forget. Now that I believe I have something to give back, it is with great pleasure that I do so."

Training and guidance he received at San Jacinto College helped Escott to solidify his career choice. "The College played an important part in my chosen career path," he noted. "Early in my career, I learned excellent clinical skills in evaluation and management of acutely ill patients. It was an important stage in my medical as well as EMS education."

The field of emergency medicine can be challenging, demanding, and stressful, yet Escott finds rewards that money cannot buy.

"I chose this field because I like to take care of patients who are acutely ill, who need rapid medical evaluation," he said. "It involves quick decision-making with little (and at times) no medical information provided by the patient. I find it rewarding because you can make a positive difference in someone’s life on a daily basis, sometimes actually saving lives. You never get tired of that. I love what I do."

Escott offers some practical advice for students about characteristics and qualities it takes to succeed in the field of emergency medicine. "Always smile and have a great attitude," he remarked. "That always goes a long way. Recognize that you are an important part of a team, and that leadership skills play an important role in emergency medicine. Keep your head down, nose in the books, study, study, study. I promise it will all pay off in the end."

San Jacinto College offers a wide range of EMT courses and degree plans at the North and Central campuses.

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