Dr. James M. Atkins is an accomplished physician, educator, and clinician in the field of cardiology, as well as in EMS, Paramedic education, and the CAAHEP accreditation process. He has had a long-term interest in cardiac arrest and the care of acute myocardial infarction, having written several papers and book chapters on these subjects. He was medical director of the Paramedic system in Dallas County for 27 years and Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He worked as a cardiologist at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas VA Hospital, and Zale-Lipshy Hospital. Dr. Atkins created the EMS system for the City of Dallas, as well as its EMS education program, in which he trained over 13,000 EMTs and Paramedics during his tenure.
Dr. Atkins has served as Chairman of the CoAEMSP, with which he has been involved since its early stages. He also contributed to the National Heart Attack Alert Program of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for the entire ten years of the program, and chaired the Access to Care Subcommittee and the Executive Committee of the National Heart Attack Alert Program.