MEMA Physician Spotlight: Stephanie Zeller, MD
Why did you make the choice to attend the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM) for medical school?
UMMSM offered opportunities to learn where there was both a large patient population as well as rewarding volunteer opportunities. Also, Miami has a robust volunteer program and hosts events for underserved patients every year helping to treat and educate the community at large. During medical school I had the opportunity to volunteer at many health fairs as well as spend time volunteering at the free clinics serving the Miami community. I was also able to assist as the lead organizer of a health fair which served over 150 patients and was staffed by more than 100 volunteer students and physicians.
Why did you choose Carolinas Medical Center for residency?
I chose CMC due to their long-standing reputation for training excellent emergency medicine physicians and felt it would provide the training and opportunities I was looking for. I also loved the Charlotte area and knew it was somewhere I could see myself living after finishing residency!
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
I wanted a rewarding career where I would have the opportunity to help people and serve the community. Working in medicine allows me to make a difference in people’s lives every day.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
Going into medical school, I had an idea already that EM was where my focus would be. While in college, I had the opportunity to participate in medical volunteering trips to Uganda and Guatemala. These trips made it clear that I wanted to work in a specialty that would allow me to care for underserved populations. Emergency medicine is perfect for this because as the entryway to the hospital we help patients from all walks of life, including those who have nowhere else to turn.
My interest in emergency medicine was strengthened when I did my trauma and emergency medicine rotations as a medical student. I enjoyed the challenge of having to think fast as a team to help sick patients.
What do you enjoy most about your day to day practice?
It’s very rewarding to help patients find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. I also appreciate the camaraderie that exists in an emergency department between nurses, techs, APPs, and physicians as we work together as a team.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
I was looking for a work environment where I would feel camaraderie with my peers, and it was clear from my interviews that this was an important quality of the MEMA and Novant teams. Since starting last fall, I have seen this proven time and time again.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as well as of the North Carolina Chapter (NCCEP).
Have you received any awards or been recognized by your peers?
While in medical school, I was honored to be selected for Alpha Omega Alpha. This is a national honor society which selects medical students from the top quartile of their class who also excel outside the classroom, in such areas as professionalism, leadership, community service, and research.
What about Charlotte excites you?
I love how many fun outdoor activities we have – such as paddle boarding at the Whitewater Center or biking at Mallard Creek Greenway. I also am grateful for how close we are to so many other fun places to visit, such as the mountains in Asheville or beaches of the Outer Banks – everything is close by!
What are your interests outside of work?
I love biking with my husband, paddle boarding with our dog, game nights with friends, and reading new books with my book club.