Dr. Stephen LeBlanc is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Allergy and Immunology and serves as the Associate Division Director for Clinical Affairs and the Assistant Fellowship Director. Here, Dr. LeBlanc shares about his work and some of the reasons why he calls himself a “career UMMCer.”
What is your professional background?
I have been a career UMMCer. I attended medical school here, residency for internal medicine, a chief resident year, and then fellowship for two years in Allergy and Immunology. I was then fortunate enough to be recruited to stay on as faculty and have been serving as the APD for Allergy for the past two years. I also serve as a core faculty member for internal medicine and enjoy trying to maintain a balance between internal medicine and allergy and immunology.
What do you do at UMMC?
I spend the majority of my time in the outpatient Allergy clinic seeing patients and teaching a small cadre of fellows and rotating residents. I also attend on the inpatient side on house medicine twice a year which I greatly enjoy. Finally, I also have an interest in clinical research with a primary focus of penicillin allergy and angioedema.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing medicine today?
I would recommend to anybody that feels called to this profession to persevere and stick with it. While nobody knows exactly what the future of medicine will look like and certainly we currently have our days of frustration, there is no other field quite like ours with the level of responsibility and opportunity to impact the health and lives of others, particularly in an underserved state like Mississippi.
How life has changed due to COVID-19?
What is this COVID-19?
J/k. It almost seems simpler to point out what hasn’t changed. So much of what I took for granted has been altered over these past 6 months, whether it be having a birthday party for our kids, hugging our grandparents, or just going out to dinner and a movie. Certainly medicine has changed drastically as well. Telemedicine has been both helpful and challenging, and while it has been great to have as an option, there are also times where it feels like another barrier of technology between us and the patient. It will be interesting to see how things continue to evolve in the coming months to years.
What do you like most about UMMC?
Without a doubt or second of hesitation, I would say the people. UMMC has many positive attributes but none as great as the quality and character of the people here. It’s difficult to spend any considerable amount of time around UMMC and not feel connected to the incredible mission of this place and I think the majority of people here have bought in completely. It makes the job infinitely more rewarding when you know you are a part of something so much bigger than yourself.
What is something about you that people may not know?
I suffer from a mild case of prosopagnosia and everyone wearing masks has only exacerbated the condition. I spend considerable amounts of time and energy trying to decide if I know somebody or not. Anybody that has seen me out in public in the past few months can attest to this.