Tell us about which medical school you attended and why it made the top of your list.   

For undergraduate, I made the move from Tennessee down to Florida and while I enjoyed college, I genuinely missed being near the mountains and my family. Returning back to the mountains and my family, I attended James H. Quillen College of Medicine in East Tennessee for medical school and moved into a home just several blocks from my childhood home. Having mom’s cooking just down the street kept me focused and the teachers and clinicians at medical school were fantastic to work with and learn from as they were always personable and professional.

Where did you complete your residency?  How/Why did you end up choosing that location?

I completed my residency at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. Several other people from my medical school had attended residency in Winston-Salem and spoke very highly of it.  The emergency medicine program is fantastic, and I am still in contact with some of my former attendings.

Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?

I had a childhood friend whose father was an emergency physician and I can recall, vividly, how he would recount crazy stories at the dinner table.  While the extreme stories certainly got my attention, it was evident he loved his job and felt great satisfaction from it.  I have always been attracted to the sciences in school and medicine is a great mix of working with driven and smart coworkers, meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life and applying science daily.

What about becoming a physician was attractive?

Becoming a physician was attractive because it’s a very challenging profession that requires frequent decision making, ingenuity, quick recall, and keeping up with new and modern advances.

How did you choose emergency medicine as your specialty?

Emergency medicine is interesting and unique in that it’s an amalgam of every type of medicine.  I enjoy having the breadth of knowledge I’m required to have and feel I would become bored with a super-specialized profession. The shift work is crucial to me as well. I enjoy working as hard as I can for stretches at a time and then being able to completely unplug when I’m off.  Emergency medicine is one of the few specialties that doesn’t require a pager! 

What do you enjoy most about your day to day practice?

The thing that I enjoy the most about my day to day practice is really the variety of patients, illnesses, and injuries I am exposed to.  I get to meet an endless number of great people, learn daily about the ever-expanding field of medicine, treat and relieve those in pain and do some pretty cool procedures along the way.

What led you to practice with MEMA?

I formerly worked in a group very similar to MEMA and really loved the small feel and amount of control that a group of that size could have over its operations.  I most recently worked for a very large company and the feeling of family was lost.  I am looking forward to being part of a close-knit, familial group again.

Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?

I have worked very closely with two people in the past, a physician and a nurse, that both developed a terminal illness while we were still working together.  It was surreal and gut-wrenching to see them go through all the stages we know exist. However, to see the support that their families, friends, coworkers, and loved ones gave them was very important and lasting to me.  Additionally, it was humbling and humanizing to see them switch their roles from caregiver to a person receiving care.  It taught me that what we are doing daily at the hospital is important work and patients and families put their complete trust in us as providers.

Have you received any awards or been recognized by your peers? If so, tell us about it!

A couple of years ago I was voted the “Best Wingman,” by the nurses at my hospital.  I was proud of that designation because I think it proves we are all part of a treatment team and we all have a stake in caring for our patients.  Most recently, I received an award for having the highest patient satisfaction score amongst emergency physicians at my hospital for 2019 which was validating and exciting!    

What was your dream job when you were a child?

In terms of dream jobs, I think we all go through a Rockstar phase, right?  However, a dream job that has always persisted with me is being a park ranger. I can’t think of a more peaceful job and the view from the office would be hard to beat…

What about Charlotte excites you?

Charlotte is an exciting city to me mainly because of its diversity. There is plenty of culture reflected in its activities, arts, and restaurants. I think it’s a great place to raise a family and exposes my children to things that should make them well rounded and experienced adults.

Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?

Before I had children, I had more hobbies than I could count. As they get older, I am able to do more and more of these things with them, which is cool.  We generally get outside as much as we can, and we also have some very energetic dogs that keep us active.

Regarding superpowers, my wife has all of those!