Student Spotlight: Cole Ettingoff

Cole Ettingoff Clinical

Have you ever met someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes medicine? Meet Cole Ettingoff, a current third-year medical student at Trinity School of Medicine who is beyond passionate about emergency medicine and the role it plays in our communities. 

Cole grew up in Memphis, Tennessee in a family that was very interested in helping the community. Cole’s passion for emergency medicine dates all the way back to elementary school when his hometown welcomed waves of evacuees, sparking an interest in how communities respond to disasters and promote resilience through such hard times.  

With emergency medicine in his heart and soul, Cole Ettingoff completed a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Emergency Health Services at George Washington University. He then obtained the post-baccalaureate pre-health program at the University of California, Berkeley, after which he completed a Master’s in Public Health at George Washington University. To further enhance his medical journey, he obtained his pre-clinical education at Tel Aviv University in Israel and is now a third-year clinical student at Trinity School of Medicine. 

While staying on top of his studies, Cole managed to find time to do what he loved doing most, which was helping his community during times of need. From caring for singular patients as an EMT to caring for hundreds as an Incident Commander, Cole has gained significant emergency response experience.  

Cole Ettingoff as CPR Dummy









“I’ve done everything from technical rescue to large area search and rescue to aerial photography in reconnaissance after natural disasters to mass incident management…I’ve spent a lot of time on ambulances and fire trucks, everything from one sick person to a high-rise building full of people who are sick or injured. I’ve had some really great opportunities to learn along the way.”

As he helped his community, he quickly became passionate about the public health and medical side of things. Having the well-being of his community in mind, Cole was not only interested in how people were treated but also how their health was being promoted beyond an emergency setting to prevent them from getting into another. Before entering medical school, Cole had several opportunities to be involved in not only operational emergency response situations but also public health affairs. Right out of college, he became a Director of Operations for a private aviation consulting firm before becoming a Public Health Fellow at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. During the pandemic, he became part of the Montgomery County COVID Taskforce in Maryland. 

Cole Ettingoff as a Firefighter

“It was a nice bridge between my emergency response work and my public health stuff. I did everything from PPE allocations to what are we going to do when this hospital doesn’t have any more beds to how many people can we put on that ventilator and everything in between. Coaching nursing homes on how to not spread the infection, responding to public calls of ‘I don’t understand, can I go to work?’ It was a phenomenal experience to learn how we as a community have the capability to improve things and how the role of physicians can aid in that process.”

From there, Cole decided to go to medical school and start his pre-clinical studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel. After gathering some incredible experiences at the EMS and emergency rooms in Israel, Cole then transferred to Trinity School of Medicine when he heard about the school’s Term 5 and how it better prepares medical students for Step 1. 

    Cole Ettingoff Clinical Skills

“Frankly, I think our clinical skills course and the kinds of simulations that we have the capability to do are some of our greatest assets because of the ability that it has to get students to practice those skills that they can then use in the clinical setting and can help set students apart in a meaningful way.”

Cole has told us that he feels very fortunate to be at Trinity, a place that makes dreams possible, “I am at clinical sites with preceptors who care a lot about me learning to be a good physician and care a lot about me succeeding as a person and the projects that I’m passionate about. I get a lot of engagement, I get a lot of instruction, I get a lot of experience, but we’re not wasting time.” He explains that during his rotations, if there are no more patients scheduled for that day, he is not just held there, he is told to go out and work on other projects or study. He feels lucky to be in a medical school with preceptors who understand the difference between what is useful and what is just busy work, “Frankly, when I talk to students at traditional American universities, they don’t get that balance.” 

“Trinity has both the support to ensure you get what you need as well as the support to ensure that you can get what you want”

Cole Ettingoff 988    Cole Ettingoff 988

Throughout his time in medical school, Cole has had numerous leadership experiences and extensive involvement with the American Public Health Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and the National Association of EMS Physicians, among other groups. He is a peer reviewer of three medical journals and three annual conferences and has recently been named the Associate Editor for the International Journal of Paramedicine and Production Editor for the Caribbean Medical Journal. He has given more than a dozen presentations and written several articles, including “Mobile, Multidisciplinary Approach for Nonfatal Opioid Overdose Survivors” for the SAEM Pulse Journal.

Cole Ettingoff

This Thursday, Cole will be recognized with the RAMS Leadership in Emergency Medicine Award at the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting. To clarify its significance, this award is open to any U.S. medical student or emergency medicine resident taking a leading role in their student interest group or residency program and making an impact on the local, regional, national, or international level through their efforts, which he has most definitely done.

Cole is excited to continue his medical education at Trinity and looks forward to pursuing a residency in emergency medicine and a career where he balances clinical medicine with his passion for public health and research. 

If you’re interested in learning how Trinity can support your dream of becoming a doctor, we invite you to reach out to our admissions team today! Contact us here.  

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