Meet Dr. Mark Pittman!

October 25, 2019
Faculty Spotlight
What do you love most about Greenville?

We love that Greenville has a vibrant downtown, is family friendly, and you can get outside easily. You can go hiking in the mountains and then see a great show, all in the same day! Having three kids, it is nice that restaurants, breweries, and other venues all welcome families.  

What is your favorite part of working at Prisma Health Upstate?

The people! In addition to sharing a love of Emergency Medicine and caring for their patients, I just enjoy being around the people in our department. I routinely leave work wishing I had more time to hang out with the faculty and staff. Having a relatively young faculty group from many residencies and prior jobs, I routinely learn from others and am challenged to keep evolving my practice.  

An area that surprised me is the acuity. Coming from a large urban center, I was surprised at the acuity we see in Greenville. In addition to the urban area, we have a large rural catchment area. Many of these patients do not have regular access to care, and I enjoy being able to care for them and serve as an access point.  

What is your favorite aspect about the residency program?

I hate to be repetitive, but it’s the same as above: the people. Many of the faculty came to Prisma because we have (or were starting) a residency! With that comes a lot of enthusiasm for teaching and creating the best learning environment we can. And our residents have jumped right into the mix!

How do you like spending your free time?

With three kids under 5, we spend a lot of time playing outside, exploring new restaurants, and seeing friends! Personally, I love hiking, camping, running, and most any outdoor adventure.  

What are your professional interests?

First and foremost, I love emergency medicine. Wilderness medicine and the emergent airway are two favorite topics. My passion outside of clinical medicine is medical education: residents, medical students, and even teaching an undergraduate course. What I love is getting to know individuals, finding ways to spark their curiosity and enthusiasm about learning.

What is your favorite place in Greenville?

Within Greenville, it may be Paris Mountain State Park. For a park within Greenville, it offers great hiking, mountain biking, and even swimming. Having gone to Furman University myself, I’ll always love visiting the campus, letting my kids play around the lake. Finally, Spill the Beans because they have my favorite ice cream!

Tell us about your involvement in medical student and resident education?

I found my passion for medical education in residency. Getting to serve as the chief resident of academics further strengthened this. After residency, I was the clerkship director at the Georgetown University School of Medicine and started a wilderness medicine elective with a colleague from residency. Here at Prisma, I work with both medical students and residents. In the residency I have been lucky to have several roles. Currently, I am the GME Director of Academic Success, helping with written and oral board prep. In the medical school I teach a class for the 2nd year students and lead a wilderness medicine elective at the end of 4th year. Is there a better way to end medical school?

What advice can you give to M4 students entering the application season?

Find where you feel ‘home.’ I like details and even created a spreadsheet to rank all of the programs after interviews (no surprise to anyone that knows me). At the end of the day, I fudged the numbers so the outcome would match what I felt in my gut. For the most part, programs are all good –they’re accredited, have a mix of peds, trauma, bells, and whistles. You want to be somewhere where you will feel supported and will have fun learning.  

Programs fall on a spectrum, ranging from very academic to very clinical. Do you prefer more didactics and theory or do you prefer more of a trial by fire, enjoying learning by doing? I know excellent physicians that went to great residencies on both ends of the spectrum. Try to figure out where you fall on the spectrum. Being in the right setting will help you find your home.

In addition to the people at the program, the location matters. When you have free time, you want to enjoy where you are – particularly if you have a significant other moving with you. Whether it is being near the mountains, the beach, your family, or a city you love; this is ultimately the place you will call home for three years.

Hannah Shull, MD

Emergency Medicine, Class of 2021

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