Class Year


Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Science, Technology, and Society Program

First Advisor

Robert McAulay

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Bradley


In my thesis, I argue that the opioid epidemic poses challenges but also opportunities for emergency departments to assess and improve their performance under duress for the betterment of future generations and ailments to come. I first delve into the history of emergency medicine as a specialty to put its recent emergence into context. Subsequently, I will discuss the opioid epidemic, its origin, and various causes that have contributed to its relevance and significance in public health. Then, I will examine data from emergency departments throughout the United States to track performance. After, I will describe opioid overdose cases from emergency departments throughout the country and strategies they have implemented to combat the epidemic. I will then discuss the relevance of social determinants of health. Last, I will conclude by tying in my thesis argument with the COVID-19 pandemic.