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Michael Ambrose

Hometown: Coopersburg, PA
Undergraduate: University of Scranton
Medical School: Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Areas of Interest in EM: Peds, Ultrasound
Hobbies: Football, Swimming, Craft Beer, Hiking
Why I chose: The most important factor in choosing UNC was the people. I was in the unique positon of having to relocate after the abrupt closing of Drexel in Philadelphia. After expressing interest in UNC, multiple residents reached out to me to tell me about the program. Everybody was so friendly and spoke so highly of their experience so far that I needed to come down and see it for myself. I met up with Byron, Tim, and Alex and we spent some time at local breweries. At this point I was completely sold and was ready to make the big move from Pennsylvania. After my first day I knew I made the right decision and couldn’t be happier with where I ended up.
Michael Ambrose

Christopher Deery

Hometown: McLean, Virginia
Undergraduate: Providence College
Medical School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Areas of Interest in EM: Global Health, Medical Education, Population Health and Social Emergency Medicine
Hobbies: Traveling, hiking, running, reading, cooking, spending time with my wife and two sons
Why I chose: Although I’m originally from just outside of Washington, DC, at this point I’m a true North Carolinian having lived in Carrboro since 2007. I received both my MPH and medical degree from UNC and I’m beyond excited to be staying here for my residency! UNC is a special place and I didn’t want to leave. I’m so fortunate to be a part of the UNC Emergency Medicine program. It has the best of everything- the opportunity to train in an academic and community hospital setting led by world-class physicians who are deeply caring and passionate about both patient care and resident education. In addition, the Triangle is an amazing place to live. The mountains and beaches are only a quick day trip away and there are countless local hiking trails, restaurants, breweries, and plenty of outdoor activities. It’s also a fantastic place to raise little kids.

Alexandra Digenakis

Hometown: Muncy, PA
Undergrad: Penn State University
Med School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Areas of Interest: International Emergency Medicine, Medical Education, Population Health and Social Emergency Medicine
Hobbies: Traveling to awesome places, cooking, painting, hiking, playing soccer, gardening, knitting and being social!
Why I chose: The feeling I had during the pre-interview dinner and the entire interview day! The family feel and support is outstanding! The opportunity to work with amazing faculty that have broad interests was a big appeal. Also, the high acuity and clinical diversity of community and academic at Wake and UNC allows trainees to see a wide variety of patient populations and practice types. Oh, and the weather is pretty great!
WHY I LOVE UNC: I love UNC because of the great community of residents, attendings, leadership and nursing. We truly are one big family!

Joy Hallmark

Hometown: Bayside, NY
Undergrad: Binghamton University
Med School: Wake Forest School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Wilderness Medicine, Education
Hobbies: Hiking, traveling, camping, trail running, fishing, hanging with my dog Vegas, poetry writing, baking, bikram yoga
Why I chose: From my very first shift in the ED at UNC as an away rotator, I knew it was the place for me. I was looking for a residency program with genuine people, who truly enjoyed being together in both professional and social settings, and it was clear that UNC embodied that. Every resident I met seemed so happy and well-rounded. Additionally, the faculty at UNC are renowned, yet down-to-earth and accessible. I knew that I would have great mentors to enrich my career in both a clinical and academic setting. The residency program at UNC provides an extremely supportive and dynamic environment in which to learn, and I love the strong female presence within the residency’s leadership. Working at WakeMed is also such an amazing opportunity and learning experience. They have a state-of-the-art simulation center, super busy ER, and outstanding faculty. Plus, North Carolina is a pretty awesome state to live in. Beaches and mountains… what more could you want!
Joy Hallmark, MD

Byron Parker

Hometown: Scottsburg, Indiana
Undergrad: Indiana University
Med School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Education, Ultrasound, ECGs
Hobbies: Reading fiction, Fishing, Kayaking, Running, Watching sports, Cooking, Chilling with my Dog
Why I chose: Most importantly, I felt completely at home here on my interview day. The program is filled with people who are so down-to-earth and genuine. It is obvious that everyone truly cares about each other and looks out for one another. The experience variety we get between UNC (Academic) and WakeMed (Urban Community) was another huge selling point. Lastly, the location is stellar with an overwhelming amount to do within the Triangle and some amazing beaches and mountains just a couple of hours away!

Andrew Petrilli

Hometown: Winston-Salem, NC
Undergrad: Wake Forest University
Med School: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: Medical Education, EMS, Critical Care, Wilderness Medicine
Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, cooking, reading, working around the house, spending time with my wife and daughters.
Why I chose: After attending medical school at UNC, it was readily apparent that sticking around for my EM residency training would be an incredible opportunity for both my family and me. My wife and I are both from North Carolina, and training at UNC has allowed us to be close to family while also having the privilege to complete residency training at one of the best EM programs in the country. I wanted to train at a program with both strong academic and community EM opportunities, and the combination of our UNC and Wake Med training sites provides diverse and synergistic learning opportunities. Most importantly, the people at UNC truly set this place apart. The faculty and staff at both UNC and Wake Med truly care about helping us to become the best emergency medicine physicians we can be while also maintaining our humanity along the way. The faculty are outstanding educators as well as national and international leaders in a variety of fields within emergency medicine but are also down to earth and genuinely care about each resident as an individual. The residency program here is truly a family that cares for each other. My family and I are thrilled to be at UNC!

Will Roper


Hometown: Roanoke, Virginia
Undergrad: Wingate University
Med School: UNC School of Medicine
Areas of Interest: LGBTQIA Health, Geriatric Emergency Medicine, & Early Palliative Care initiatives
Hobbies: Running, hiking, spending time with my pets (a dog and two cats), and making hot sauce from peppers I grow in my garden.
Why I chose: There are so many reasons why UNC was a perfect fit! This program is full of amazing people. During my rotation at UNC and on my interview day, it was clear that UNC EM is one big family. In addition, the combination of community and academic hospitals UNC EM residency serves allows so many experiences through different models of care, different populations, and allows for a truly unique EM learning experience.
Will Roper Jr.

Matthew St. Marie

Hometown: Brevard, NC
Undergraduate: Brevard College
Medical School: UNC. Go Heels!
Areas of Interest in EM: Wilderness and tactical medicine, international and austere medicine, and community health as it interacts with the emergency department.
Hobbies: I’m from the mountains of NC and had a first career as a personal trainer, so my hobbies are heavily loaded with things like weight lifting, Crossfit, mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and pretty much anything else active. The rest of my time is spent cooking, playing guitar, petting dogs that aren’t mine, and finding things to drink at breweries that aren’t beer.
Why I chose: Interesting story. I knew that I loved UNC from the start having gone to med school here. That being said, I originally matched in Philly where I just started my residency before my program shut down. When I reached out to the program leadership here to see if they would be interested in taking in an orphaned resident, they were so excited and bent over backward to help me out. No other program offered the support that I’ve felt from UNC, and that is why I continue to be 100% sold on this program. Not only do you have some of the greatest educators in the world working beside you every day, but you also have an incredibly supportive environment that allows you to grow and develop as a clinician and a person. The attending/resident relationship is fantastic and so supportive, and all of your fellow residents AND the program leadership are actively engaged in making sure you succeed.

One of the things that I think gets overlooked is the diversity of experience you can have at UNC…we rotate at UNC (huge academic center) which is in the incredibly family-friendly town of Chapel Hill. We also rotate at Wake Med (high-volume/acuity community hospital) which is in the young professional-leaning Raleigh. Durham is perfectly situated between the two both physically and in its vibe. There is a place for everyone in this area, and we’ve got residents living in all three areas to prove it. NC is an amazing state with easily accessible mountains on one side, and the beach on the other, and the cost of living is super affordable. I love it here.

Elena Stansky

Hometown: Worcester, MA
Undergrad: Skidmore College
Med School: University of Massachusetts Medical School
Areas of Interest: Global EM, Wilderness, Research
Hobbies: Soccer, live music, traveling, hiking, skiing, breweries!
Why I chose: Dual academic and community clinical training sites, the strong commitment to teaching, opportunities in global health, focus on ultrasound and peds, and the people – a combination that is incredibly hard to beat.

Timothy Wetzel

Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Undergrad: The Ohio State University
Med School: The Ohio State University
Areas of Interest: Medical Education and Ultrasound
Hobbies: Watching Ohio State beat That Team Up North, anything outdoors, National Parks, going on cruises, Marvel movies, Harry Potter, eating pizza and trying new bourbons.
Why I chose: Most importantly, the people. On my interview day, I felt extremely welcome and a strong sense of family from top to bottom throughout the whole program. The incredible part is: it only gets better once you become part of the family! The lure of living in one of the nicest parts of the country, The Triangle, was also a huge bonus.
The curriculum, with training at both UNC and WakeMed, is so valuable. It was very hard to find a program that offered strong academic medicine, as well as outstanding community/county and pediatrics experiences. You get the best of all worlds. One of my favorite things is the longitudinal nature of the curriculum – you work at all the different sites (including peds) every month you are in the ED, which is perfect for keeping up all of your skills and knowledge base. I was confident that training at UNC and WakeMed will allow me to be the best physician I can be, with the ability to pursue any branch of EM without issue.
WHY I LOVE UNC: UNC is a special place for so many reasons – in particular, the people are extraordinary and our diversity of training locations with varying patient populations really makes our program stand out!


John Wooten

Hometown: Greenville, NC
Undergrad: UNC Chapel Hill
Med School: The Brody School of Medicine at ECU
Areas of Interest: EMS, flight medicine, POCUS, medical education
Hobbies: Trail running with my dog, boating with my wife and son, gardening, cooking, home brewing, and reading outside with a good cup of coffee.
Why I chose: I interacted with many of the UNC EM residents while working as a paramedic after undergrad and was always impressed with both their competence and by how much they loved their job. When I rotated here as a 4th year medical student, all of the attendings were approachable and excited to teach on shift, the residents got along well and always seemed to be doing something fun outside of work, everyone seemed to be ultrasound rockstars, and the weekly conferences really were engaging and entertaining. Plus, working at UNC and WakeMed provides an awesome opportunity to experience both the academic and community sides of EM. Finally, the Triangle is a great place to live with tons of local restaurants, bars, live music events, and outdoor activities.