Please share with us where you attended medical school and where you completed your residency.
I attended medical school at the University of Arizona, College of Medicine – Phoenix in Phoenix, AZ. I grew up in Arizona and wanted to stay close to family so this made the choice of where to go easier. After medical school, I was able to complete my residency at Carolinas Medical Center here in Charlotte.
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of emergency medicine?
I love the diversity of patients and breadth of clinical problems encountered in the emergency room. The extensive knowledge base and clinical expertise possessed by emergency medical (EM) physicians became very intriguing to me early in my medical training. EM physicians are uniquely positioned to treat anyone that comes through the doors, regardless of their age, race, or socioeconomic status and to alleviate physical suffering and provide compassionate care at a time when patients and their families are most vulnerable. I also found myself drawn to the personalities of other clinicians and the teamwork and camaraderie among all team members in the ED.
What about becoming a physician was attractive?
I knew early on in my education that I wanted to do something within the science or medical fields. I initially held various research positions and considered a career in research/academics, but as I gained more experience in clinical medicine it became apparent that I was more passionate about direct patient care. I was drawn to how dynamic and challenging the medical field is and how physicians must use their scientific and medical knowledge daily to help patients.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
Upon completing residency in Charlotte, I fell in love with the community and knew I wanted to stay here. I had opportunities to meet several individuals who either work, had worked, or knew people who worked with MEMA and all had nothing but great things to say about the group. Not only did they have great things to say about the job itself, but it was apparent that the people in the group are all so welcoming and caring. They all spoke highly about each other and in many ways are one big family. MEMA’s dedication to their teammates and patients really stood out to me.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
During my last year in residency, I had a critically ill elderly patient that was dying from a large brain bleed. Due to the acuity of her condition, some of my conversations with the daughter had to take place over the phone but ultimately the daughter was able to make it to the ED and be with her mother during her passing. Months later, I received a letter from that daughter in which she expressed her appreciation to the entire ED staff for their efforts and for making her feel supported through such a traumatic experience. In addition to expressing her gratitude, she recounted every single thing I said to her over the phone and in person and described how each of my words and actions made her feel. The letter was written three months after my interaction with the daughter, but she was able to remember everything I had said and even recall the tone of my voice during various parts of our conversations. Not only was I proud of how the team and I were able to ease her through this hardship, but reading this letter really shined a spotlight on the importance of what we as physicians say and how we say it, especially during critical and vulnerable times for our patients/their families.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am a member of American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).
What about Charlotte excites you?
There are many great things about Charlotte. I grew up in a rural Arizona town, so I appreciate that Charlotte has all of the resources and benefits of an urban city, but somehow still preserves a small town feel. I am quite obsessed with the natural lush beauty of Charlotte and North Carolina and love how you can drive a couple hours in one direction and end up in the forest or a couple hours in the opposite direction and be surrounded by gorgeous beaches. The city is surrounded by an abundance of outdoor activities that makes day trips on days off super doable. Charlotte has become quite the brewery mecca and its food scene has grown and become diversified over the past few years as well, so there is always a new brewery, cocktail bar, or restaurant to try.
Do you have any Hobbies, interests, or secret powers that are unique to you?
I love cooking and currently am working on mastering Korean and Chinese dishes. I have lately taken an interest in pickling various vegetables and enjoy gardening. My husband and I try to go on bike rides as often as possible, so I look forward to the Fall. Together, we also enjoy foraging for edible mushrooms during the spring and fall, and of course, exploring all the amazing breweries NC has to offer!