Meet Dr. Nat Mann!
What brought you to Greenville?
There are so many great reasons to be here. This is just such a beautiful part of the country. The outdoor opportunities are endless, and the living is easy. I’m from Virginia, and my wife spent much of her life in the low country, so when it came time to find a place to settle down, we looked at all of the academic programs along the Blue Ridge, from Virginia through the Carolinas. For a variety of reasons, Greenville was the best place for us. We love the small town feel with a good food scene, an abundant outdoor community, and a strong cultural scene. My wife loves the Broadway plays, and I enjoy being able to watch my three favorite spectator sports live (hockey, baseball, and racing). We have easy access to all of western North Carolina, northern Georgia, and two major cities in Atlanta and Charlotte. I think we really knew that Greenville was the right decision when we attended our first Drive game, drove right up to the gate, and parked four spots down from the entrance for free. All of the benefits, few of the annoyances of other towns. The job was just as much a part of the reason we came as was the location. I really felt that I would be supported to pursue my own interests, and I felt that I could easily contribute to the budding residency program. I loved that the focus was on education, and that there isn’t the “publish or perish” mentality, though research is still encouraged and supported. I always wanted a job where could spend lots of time with residents, but still get some community time and also work in pediatrics. Very few places provide that kind of diversity in practice.
What is your favorite part of working at Prisma Health Upstate?
Beyond what I’ve already mentioned, I really enjoy that we have a large hospital and get to serve as the primary safety net for the community; but we also don’t feel like a large medical industrial complex. It’s easy to get to know your colleagues in other specialties, but it also feels like a family in the ED – you become quite familiar with your secretaries, nurses, custodial staff, and translators.
What is your favorite aspect about the residency program?
I’ve really enjoyed being able to participate in a new program where there is such great opportunity to effect meaningful change and to help things grow. I’ve spent all of my training thus far in some of the oldest and more established programs. I’ll forever be grateful for my experience, and akin to being an aficionado who loves great paintings. But being here I feel that instead of enjoying the art, we’re getting to sculpt our own masterpiece. The door is still open here for residents and attendings to make their own way in medicine.
How do you like spending your free time?
Outside. Whenever I can I’m out enjoying the outdoor activities that the region has to offer. This includes day hikes at Table Rock, mountain biking at Dupont or Issaqueena, or rock climbing at Big Rock Mountain or Looking Glass. If the weather isn’t amenable to any of those, I’m at home playing music or making furniture for our still mostly empty house.
What are your professional interests?
My fellowship training was in wilderness medicine, and so most of my interests lie in the overlap between medicine and the austere. Within that field my loves are really search and rescue and mountain medicine. I work now with Oconee Special Rescue and Dive Rescue, which is another reason I was happy to take a position here. Outside of wilderness medicine, I’ve had longstanding interest in writing and editing, and in resident education, so I’ve been lucky to be able to continue both of those interests since starting in Greenville.
What is your favorite place in Greenville?
In Greenville proper? Probably White Duck Taco. But every place I’ve ever lived I also have a secret outdoor spot that’s just for me. But it’s a secret.
Tell us about your involvement in resident education.
Right now I’m serving as the GME Director of Wilderness Medicine, which means that I’m in charge of the portions of resident education that have to do with wilderness medicine. As part of that we’ve started our first ever longitudinal resident track, the WMT. This track creates the opportunity for interested residents to explore wilderness medicine a bit more deeply and have some fun doing it. It also means coordinating electives, the annual wilderness medicine day, and some medical student education as well. On top of that, I’m also serving on the Clinical Competence Committee.
What advice can you give to M4 students entering the application season?
This can be a very stressful time for students applying to emergency medicine. I think probably the best advice I received when I was at that juncture was to just be myself during interview season. Relax and present yourself as you are, and it will be much easier to find the right match for you. When there’s no pretense between the program and the applicant, things always workout better, and both parties are happier in the end.