Mike Wells, MBBCh, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine | Honorary Professor of Emergency Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
BC 71, Room 213
p: 561-737-7733 Ext. 87410
Department: Emergency Medicine
Mike Wells MBBCh, Ph.D., FCEM(SA), FEMSSA is a Research Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, and Honorary Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the Department of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Wells is establishing a research team in the field of emergency weight estimation and drug dosing in children and adults, with a particular interest in how this impacts obese patients. He is also involved in supporting other research in the department, in particular research in geriatric emergency medicine.
Dr. Wells completed his undergraduate training at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. After starting his medical degree, he took the opportunity to take two years off to obtain intercalated BSc(Med) and BSc.Hons degrees. These degrees had a major focus on research under world leading authorities in the fields of Human Biology and Human Growth and Development. Then, after returning to and completing his medical degree in 1992, Dr. Wells worked in the intensive care unit at the world-famous Baragwanath Hospital, before starting to work in an academic Emergency Medicine setting. He obtained a MSc(Med) in Emergency Medicine in 2007. At the time that Emergency Medicine was established as a medical specialty in South Africa, Dr. Wells was recognized as a specialist in Emergency Medicine to develop the new specialty. He was one of the early council members of the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa and was a board examiner for emergency medicine residents between 2008 and 2020. Dr. Wells continued his productive research career in Emergency Medicine and earned his PhD in 2018. At the University of the Witwatersrand Dr. Wells progressed in rank from senior lecturer in 2007 to full professor in 2018. Dr. Wells has a strong background in postgraduate research supervision and postgraduate education and has supervised more than 20 Master of Science and Master of Medicine candidates to the completion of their degrees. His ongoing research interests include patient safety, metacognition, emergency weight estimation and drug dosing, point-of-care ultrasound and echocardiography, prehospital emergency care, and geriatric emergency medicine. Dr. Wells also has several medical inventions, the most well-known of which is the PAWPER tape, a pediatric weight estimation system endorsed by the International Federation for Emergency Medicine.
Outside of the university environment Dr. Wells serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the African Journal of Emergency Medicine and as an Associate Editor at the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians Open.
- 2019: FCEM (SA) – Fellow of the College of Emergency Medicine by peer review - College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa.
- 2018: Ph.D. – Doctor of Philosophy in Emergency Medicine - University of the Witwatersrand.
- 2013: Dip Transthoracic Echo – Diploma in Transthoracic Echocardiography - Medical University of Vienna.
- 2008: MSc (Med) (Emergency Medicine) – Master of Science in Medicine in Emergency Medicine - University of the Witwatersrand.
- 1997: Dip PEC (SA) – Diploma in Primary Emergency Care - College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa.
- 1992: MBBCh – Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery - University of the Witwatersrand.
- 1988: BSc.Hons – Bachelor of Science with Honors (Anatomy and Physiology), University of the Witwatersrand.
- 1987: BSc(Med) – Bachelor of Science in Medicine (Anatomy and Physiology), University of the Witwatersrand.
- 2023-present: Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine – Research Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Boca Raton, Florida
- 2021-present: Telemedical emergency medicine-related consulting – Drs Nay, Wells, Hutton & Piccolo Inc, Johannesburg, South Africa
- 2008-2020: Netcare Union Hospital – Head of Department of Emergency Medicine (Level 1 Trauma Center)
- 1996-2007: Netcare Garden City Hospital – Head of Department of Emergency Medicine (Level 2 Trauma Center)
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
Dr. Wells has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, half of them as first author. He has also authored two academic books, one of which has been published in three languages.
- Wells M, Goldstein LN, Cattermole GN. Development and validation of a length- and habitus-based method of ideal and lean body weight estimation for adults requiring urgent weight-based medical intervention. Eur J Drug Metab Pharmacokinet. 2022;47:841-853. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13318-022-00796-3
- Wells M, Goldstein LN, Cattermole GN. Development and validation of a length- and habitus-based method of total body weight estimation in adults. Am J Emerg Med. 2022;53:44-53. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2021.12.053
- Cattermole GN, Wells M. Comparison of adult weight estimation methods for use during emergency medical care. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2021;2(4):e12515. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/emp2.12515
- Wells M, Goldstein LN. The utility of pediatric age‐based weight estimation formulas for emergency drug dose calculations in obese children. J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open. 2020;1(5):947-954. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/emp2.12099
- Wells M, Goldstein LN. How and why paediatric weight estimation systems fail - a body composition study. Cureus. 2020;12(3):e7198. doi: https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.7198
- Wells M, Goldstein LN. Drug dosing errors in simulated paediatric emergencies – comprehensive dosing guides outperform length-based tapes with precalculated drug doses. Afr J Emerg Med. 2020;10(2):74-80. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.afjem.2020.01.005
- Wells M, Goldstein LN. Optimising emergency weight estimation in underweight and obese children: the accuracy of estimations of total body weight and ideal body weight. Eur J Emerg Med. 2019;26(4):301-307. doi: https://doi.org/10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000561
- Wells M, Goldstein LN. The “PAWPER-on-a-page”: increasing global access to a low-cost weight estimation system. World J Emerg Med. 2019;10(2):136-140. doi: https://doi.org/10.5847/wjem.j.1920-8642.2019.02.009
- Wells M. A validation of the PAWPER XL-MAC tape for total body weight estimation in preschool children from low- and middle-income countries. PLoS One. 2019;14(1):e0210332. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0210332
- Wells M, Goldstein LN, Bentley A, Basnett S, Monteith I. The accuracy of the Broselow tape as a weight estimation tool and a drug-dosing guide - a systematic review and meta-analysis. Resuscitation. 2017;121:9-17. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resuscitation.2017.09.026
- Wells M, Goldstein LN, Bentley A. The accuracy of emergency weight estimation systems in children - a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Emerg Med. 2017;10(29):1-43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12245-017-0156-5
Academic Roles and Service
- Deputy Editor-in Chief, African Journal of Emergency Medicine
- Associate Editor, Journal of the American College of Emergency Medicine Open
- Immediate Past President, Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa
- Fellow of the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa
- Fellow of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa
- Member of the American College of Emergency Physicians
- Member of the American Society of Academic Emergency Medicine
- Member of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa
- Member of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine
- Member of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine
Recent Honors and Awards
Dr. Wells was awarded the Order of the Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa in 2016 in recognition of "extensive and continuous commitment to the specialty of Emergency Medicine ... and significant contributions (to the) Emergency Medicine Society of South Africa."