Tell us about which medical school you attended and why it made the top of your list.
I attended Marshall University for medical school. It was a simple choice for me to pick between a civilian medical school or USUHS, which is a US military medical school.
Where did you complete your residency? Share with us why you chose that program.
I completed my residency with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, AR. It offered an impressive program that I almost didn’t experience!
Noel, my wife, and I took our first child, who was only a few months old, on a road trip through the southeast to several residency interviews. We almost canceled the interview in Little Rock as we had never been there and didn’t know anything about the city but decided last minute to keep the appointment. I was really impressed with the program and we both loved the city. Little Rock is a great, under the radar city, full of excellent neighborhoods, amazing food, a creative culture, and a ton of surrounding natural beauty to get out and enjoy cycling, hiking, fishing, etc. I ended up ranking it highly amongst the other options, and that’s where we landed!
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
Medicine has always been something I had an interest in. My initial interest started with my uncle, who is an internist, a professor at a medical school, as well as a colonel in the Army and someone I greatly admired growing up and still do today.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
Emergency medicine was a relatively easy choice for me. In my opinion, it’s the jack-of-all trades specialty. I love that you see adults, children, obstetric patients, trauma patients, psychiatric patients, etc. and you are the person to help them in their time of need.
What do you enjoy most about your day to day practice?
The people. Whether it’s the patients, their families, or the great physicians, PAs, nurses, or support staff in our EDs, I enjoy the interactions I have every day. Sure, there are always tough situations but overall, the experiences I have in the ER connecting with others is what makes it interesting and enjoyable.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
My wife and I knew we wanted to be back to Charlotte (we both grew up here) which left only a couple of Emergency Medicine groups to look at. Luckily, MEMA was hiring and I enjoyed the practice and everyone I met within the group. No regrets 5 years later!
Please share with us your journey of becoming an Assistant Medical Director.
My undergraduate degree was in business and financial management and I have always been interested in getting into the management side of medicine and last year, the Assistant Medical Directorship opportunity presented itself. Within a month of starting, COVID-19 hit and it has been a whirlwind, but I’m lucky to have a mentor, Dr. David Rentz, our medical director at PMC, who has been great about passing along his wisdom and helping me learn the ropes.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you during your MEMA tenure?
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the first COVID-19 patient that I had to intubate. I followed her hospital course, and she did not survive. I was the last person she saw while still awake and I felt so terrible for her and her family who were in this situation where they could not be around their loved one in the last days of her life.
As an Assistant Medical Director, tell us more about what that role entails and what do you find most gratifying about leading your team?
In this role, I enjoy meeting with other specialty departments and coordinating within our emergency department to ensure best practices are met and we are optimizing the care of our patients and our community. I enjoy getting to interact with the many different team members and hearing the different perspectives we aren’t always privy to while working in the emergency department.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), the NC College of Emergency Physicians (NCCEP), and the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS).
Have you received any awards or been recognized from your peers? If so, tell us about it!
One of the coolest recognitions I have received was to have my name put on a NASCAR race car. My good friend is a driver and did this to honor healthcare workers at the start of the pandemic. He also won the race!
Check out the full story here!
What was your dream job when you were a child?
Early on, I wanted to be a film director and then, wanted to be either an architect or a doctor. I decided to go to work with an architect for a few weeks one summer during high school and since then, I have always wanted to be a doctor.
If you could share any advice for other physicians who are interested in stepping up to leadership positions, what would that be:
Find a committee you are interested in, just step up and raise your hand to get involved.
What about Charlotte excites you?
I love being able to be at the beach or the mountains in just over a couple of hours or hop on a plane and fly just about anywhere in the world. My wife and I both grew up here and it’s nice being so close to family.
Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?
I enjoy getting outside and cycling, running, surfing, hiking with my family, or just throwing the baseball with my son. I can still ollie on a skateboard and am working to perfect my kickflip by the time I turn 40 next year, as long as I can avoid broken bones and keep myself out of the ER.