First, tell us about you.
I am originally from Mobile, Alabama. I went to the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) and then the University of South Alabama for medical school. I completed my Internal Medicine residency at UMMC and am currently in my second year of Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship. My husband is also from Mobile, and we have been married almost 5 years. We have 2 German Shepherds, Dutch and Chopper, who are basically our children.
What do you like most about UMMC?
The people — UMMC was the first program where I interviewed other than my home program. Everyone here was so friendly and engaging, and I found myself comparing all other programs to UMMC. When I came for a second look, I went to dinner with what I thought was going to be a small group of residents. It ended up being a fairly large group (thank you Lyssa for coordinating), and many of those people are still my close friends today! After that, I knew this was the place for me!
After you complete your fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care, you are planning to obtain additional training in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. When did you decide this?
I formally made my decision this year. For my community month during residency, Dr. Mansel graciously agreed to let me tag along with him to get more exposure to palliative care since there was not a formal rotation at the time. I remember being so moved by the stories people told about their lives and things that were important to them. I realized the importance of communication in medicine and how I wanted to make it a priority in my practice. I have tried to implement the tools I learned that month during fellowship, but the more family meetings I have been able to participate in with Dr. Mansel and his nurse, Ms. Carol, the more I realize how much there still is to learn and improve my communication skills.
What advice would you offer to the incoming interns? Would your advice be different for a first year fellow?
For incoming interns, there is so much advice to offer. First, the beginning can be overwhelming. Give yourself enough time in the morning to organize yourself and your thoughts. Make sure to read about your patients. The disease processes I remember the most are those I can relate to a specific patient. 5-10 minutes of reading a night can add up over time. Outside of medicine, it would be to remember to take care of yourself. Whether that is exercising, reading for pleasure or whatever, it is important to take care of you, too.
For fellows, it would be to remember you can still ask for help. It feels very intimidating going from resident on June 30th to subspecialist on July 1st, but there is always someone (attendings, other fellows) you can ask for advice or help, if needed.
What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
If it was medicine related, I would probably talk about COPD (cliché). There are so many things to discuss, and it is so prevalent in our patient population. If it was not medicine related, it would probably be about running and exercise.
What are some small things that make your day better?
Coffee with friends!! The best days are when I have 15 minutes to spare and can text a friend to grab coffee with me. Working with friends is the best!
What takes up too much of your time?
Signing into EPIC. It seriously takes forever.
Where do you want to be in your life in 5 years?
That’s a good question, and I am still trying to figure that out. I would love to live in the same city as my husband. We have been doing long distance for the last 5 years because of his job, so it would be nice to finally settle down together. I would love to have a job I love and enjoy the people with whom I work.
What is your favorite part of residency?
Again, it would be the people. Some of my best friends I have I made in residency, and to this day, I know I can call or text them anytime (day or night). When you work so closely together, it definitely makes your relationship stronger.
What is your favorite thing about Jackson?
I like how people are trying to continue to improve the city and make it a better place. Since I have been here, there has been the opening of The District, new restaurants, shops, etc. When Hawk and I first moved to Jackson, we only had two or three restaurants that we would go to on a night out. Now, there are a ton of new places that we still have yet to try! I would also have to say the Natchez Trace is one of my favorite places. I love being able to hop on the trace for a long run. It is a great place to clear my mind and seems like worlds away from the city.
What profession other than physician would you like to attempt?
There are so many things! I think it would be fun to be an exercise instructor. I would probably spend a lot of time making a killer playlist! Music can make or break a run or workout! I also think it would be fun to be a veterinarian because I love animals so much — not snakes or lizards, though.