I’ve been at UVA for 11 years now, the first three years in residency. When I finished residency, I helped to launch the hospitalist program in 2006 and worked as a hospitalist until 2010, when I transitioned to mostly outpatient general medicine. That same year, I began working as an associate program director of our residency program. Each year since then, I have had the opportunity to head up our intern application and selection for the residency program. I live in Charlottesville with my wife, Heather, and our three children, Garrett, Emily and Colin.
Medicine made sense to me in high school and college as a career in which I would be happy. I was seeking to blend a career in service to others with an enjoyment of science…thus medicine! I later developed some medical problems in college that gave me a personal taste of what it was like to be a patient. This experience greatly deepened my sense of calling in medicine and my connection to patients. I find satisfaction in trying to help patients and families get a handle on what is going on with their health that they don’t understand and to walk with them in their suffering.
Honestly, I didn’t think that much about medical education as an aspect of my career prior to residency. I think training in an environment like UVA, where education is such a priority at conferences and on rounds, and where there are so many skilled faculty, helped bring out my interest in education. I think my approach to helping patients get a handle on their problems is rooted in teaching and spilled over into a love of helping students and housestaff to understand disease processes or how to treat patients.
What brought you to Charlottesville?
My wife and I moved to Charlottesville in 2003 for me to begin my residency training at UVA. When I interviewed here, I was struck by the commitment to teaching and how close-knit all the housestaff were. We moved here from Chapel Hill, NC, and thus knew that we liked living in an academic community. The added bonus of the beautiful setting of Charlottesville on top of the esprit de corps sealed it for me.
What excites you about your work?
I enjoy helping patients or families to understand something about their health that seems scary or nebulous and help it to make sense to them. I enjoy seeing students or residents grow in their ability to provide compassionate and skilled care to patients. I enjoy working with others who share these passions to provide quality and compassionate care.
Proudest/greatest achievement outside the professional realm?
Definitely my family…nothing else is close. My wife Heather and I have three children: Garrett who will be 10 in October, 7-year-old Emily, and my redhead Colin, who will be 4 in September. They are adorable, bright, loving children who amaze me in some way almost every day. My wife is a wonderful woman blessed with creativity, intelligence, wisdom, and generosity– she puts up with the hectic demands of my job and schedule while teaching our children and volunteering her time in the community in a number of ways…and still makes time to bake muffins and scones for my ward team when I’m attending in the hospital!
What are you usually doing on the weekend?
I can usually be found spending time with my wife and my children and their activities (music, basketball, swimming), house and yard chores, squeezing in some spectator sports (I have a particular weakness for UNC basketball), trying to enjoy Charlottesville and the surrounding area (fruit-picking, walks and hikes), spending time with friends in town or through our church, Trinity Presbyterian. Sadly, Epic usually elbows its way into more weekends than we’d like.
How did you meet your partner?
My wife Heather and I met our junior year at UNC. We were both selected to be on the leadership team for our InterVarsity Christian Fellowship chapter. We had many friends in common but, on a large campus like UNC, we had never really crossed paths to that point. We quickly became close friends in our work together on this leadership team, fell in love and then married after graduation before I started medical school at UNC.
Favorite vacation/activity spot?
We enjoy going to Holden Beach, NC, a quiet beach where our family goes toward the end of summer each year. Not that we go there often enough, but we also have a soft spot for Maine, especially Acadia National Park.
What about you would surprise us?
This might not surprise residents who have worked with me on the wards, but my wife and I love to cook. I don’t get to do as much on weekdays but enjoy getting to cook on weekends, often with a couple of little helpers at my side.
On a lighter and more unusual note, though:
In college, I won free airline tickets to Spain by camping out at Dulles for two nights dressed as a matador.
Despite being pretty good at Boggle, I have never (ever) beaten my wife in Scrabble.
I used to eat ice cream for breakfast in college.
Over four years in high school , I never missed a question on the National Latin Exam.