Self-proclaimed computer nerd and Allergy and Immunology fellow Dr. Charles Grogan talks about training in Mississippi, COVID and telemedicine, and why he loves UMMC.
First, tell us about you.
I’m a second year Allergy and Immunology fellow along with Matthew Elliot. Although I was born in Arkansas, I’ve grown up and lived in Mississippi (Oxford and the Jackson area) most of my life. Even though I’m a Mississippi College graduate, I’m an Ole Miss Rebel at heart. My wife is a coastie from Bay Saint Louis, and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
When did you know you wanted to pursue Allergy and Immunology?
My interest was first sparked while I was in college taking my first immunology class. The basic science behind it has always been so
hard to understand fascinating, and I continued to enjoy it into medical school. It was my fantastic experience in my residency continuity clinic followed up by a rotation through our Allergy program that solidified my desire to be an Allergist.
What do you like most about UMMC?
I’ve always chosen UMMC when I can; I’ve gone to medical school here, done my residency here, and am now finishing my fellowship. And while my initial desire to stay in Jackson 8 years ago was because of proximity to my family, I now stay because of the people. I’ve trained under some of the best physicians I’ll ever know and met amazing friends along the way.
What advice would you give to the interns?
It gets easier. Things that you need to stop and think about now will become second nature as you progress through your training. Get sleep when you can, always accept free food, and don’t feel bad saying “I don’t know”.
What could you give a 40 minute presentation on without preparation?
How to plan, build, assemble, and tear down a computer. I built my first computer during my intern year; it was a way to unwind. Though my coding skills aren’t stellar, I’ve slowly been learning more and more about computers over the past few years.
How has COVID-19 changed the way you practice medicine?
Learning how to run a telehealth clinic during the pandemic has been an invaluable experience. Although traditional visits will almost certainly remain the way we normally see our patients, I firmly believe that telehealth will play an increasingly important role in all specialties moving forward.
What are some small things that make your day better?
The first sip of a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning and my dog Watson wagging himself silly when I get home from work.
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know.
I’m a huge board game nerd. Although I have and still play more mainstream games like Catan, I’ve branched out into some more obscure (and even nerdier) games with my (even nerdier) friends. But seriously, I have two unopened games on my shelf that I need to break in, someone come play.