Tell us about which medical school you attended and why it made the top of your list:
I attended medical school at Emory University. I grew up in Atlanta and wanted to stay close to family and of course, Emory has a renowned and well-established program, so it was a great fit.
Where did you complete your residency? How/Why did you end up choosing that location?
Well, my story may seem a bit different than most. At that time, many students took scholarships through the military who paid for medical school, so directly after graduation, I joined the Air Force and spent 5 years on active duty where I served as a General Medical Officer (GMO) and even met my wife during that time.
By the time I began applying for residency, only certain programs were open to considering applicants in my situation. Luckily, UVA was an option and with my wife having family located nearby in DC, this was a great one.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
I had a primary care focus with a surgeon mindset, but family medicine was not something I was interested in pursuing. However, I was very lucky to have spent a month during the last rotation in my surgical internship in an emergency medical rotation and at that point, I knew emergency medicine would be my focus.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
Dr. Erin Smith, who was a year ahead of me at UVA and someone I had kept in touch with, made the recommendation and the conduit for me to join this great organization.
Tell us about your experience as a Director on MEMA Board?
I have been on the MEMA Board of Directors for just about 10 years. Being part of the MEMA Board has been something I have enjoyed over the years and have taken great pride in as we guide the business of healthcare for MEMA.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations?
I am a Past President of the North Carolina College of Emergency Physicians (NCCEP) and have sat as a Director of their Board with various volunteer opportunities such as serving as Secretary and currently a Councillor (NC liaison to our National organization). Also, I am a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM).
What was your dream job when you were a child?
Becoming an entrepreneur always seemed to be exciting. As a kid, I remember organizing lemonade stands. When I was young, I lived near a golf course and a buddy of mine and I would scour the course for lost golf balls, and we would sit by the greens and sell these to the golfers. We would even put ads in the local paper promoting our business!
What about Charlotte excites you?
My wife is originally from Toronto, Canada and she was worried about moving to Charlotte at first, so we made a deal. If she did not like Charlotte after living here for one year, we would move. It has been 15 years and we love it here. The weather gives you four seasons to enjoy, being in a younger city has its benefits and without a doubt, the quality of life here can be celebrated. Charlotte is a wonderful place.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you?
One of the most profound patient experiences for me was when a young, postpartum woman came into the ER with a large intracranial hemorrhage. She was very ill and ultimately had to be intubated, put on a ventilator, and was quickly transferred to a neurosurgeon. As an ED physician, we often do not have the luxury of following up with patients. However, just a few years later this young woman ended up back in the ED (for another issue) and she remembered me. She thanked me for taking care of her and for saving her life which was very touching.
Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?
While I don’t have X-ray vision as an actual superpower, often, I feel I can see through the chaos of any given situation and make sense out of it all. Between the daily commotion of what comes in and out of the ER and my experience with the board and various leadership positions, my strength is being able to take the whole picture and ”see the forest through the trees.”
As far as hobbies go, I love traveling and learning about other cultures. With teenagers, it has been difficult to dive into traveling but, in the past, I enjoyed railing through Europe and I even lived in Asia for a year. Some of my favorite places I have been included Bali, the Greek Islands, and Bruges in Belgium.