The Nature of Emergency Medicine
UNC Health Care
The girl was dying. Desperate, her father wanted Tim Platts-Mills to help. But the 22-year-old Harvard graduate had only been in Papua New Guinea for a month and wasn’t a doctor. He wasn’t even a medical student. But Platts-Mills ran to the bedside of the man’s 8-year-old daughter anyway.
As she labored to breathe and coughed hard, Platts-Mills thought the girl was dying. Then she grabbed his hand, and her look told him that she, too, thought the end was near. From his backpack he pulled a book titled, Where There is No Doctor. As he referenced the book, the problem didn’t seem like malaria. Platts-Mills thought she had pneumonia.
“She needs antibiotics, right away,” Platts-Mills said, and the father made the four-hour trek through the jungle to fetch medications at the aid post. He returned that evening, and the girl swallowed the pills as her breathing quickened. Within a few days, she was on the mend. And Platts-Mills, half a world away from home, had found his calling.
Ten years later, Platts-Mills joined the emergency medicine department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, where he has made a name for himself as a dedicated doctor, teacher, mentor and researcher. This week, the UNC School of Medicine recognized his work with the Jefferson-Pilot Fellowship, given annually to two junior faculty members who show great promise in their chosen fields.
We sat down with Tim Platts-Mills for a Five Questions feature to discuss his inspiration to become a doctor, his research and what it takes to teach future doctors in the emergency department.
Read more at UNC Health Care.
November 30, 2020
November 30, 2020