THANK YOU Class of 2020!

I know that the Ped EM Morsels are a typically a source of educational sustenance. Today, however, I want to simply say “Congratulations!” and “Thank you!” to all of our Carolinas Medical Center graduating Emergency Medicine residents. This year has been unique to say the least, but not as unique as our residents! Below is a little excerpt of an article I wrote one sleepless night as I pondered their departure:

As the cycle of medical training continues, year after year, the Emergency Medicine Residency training program at Carolinas Medical Center has had a consistent mission: to develop physician leaders who have the courage to care for all patients everywhere. As emergency physicians, it takes courage to direct a resuscitation, to perform emergent procedures, and to take action when uncomfortable. It also takes courage to ask why, to look for answers, and to be questioned. Most importantly, it takes courage to advocate for a patient, to hold a hand, and to protect the disenfranchised. It takes courage to set the example of how to care for others. It is with this courageous approach that all of the residents and faculty at Carolinas Medical Center care for their patients daily. 

Without question, 2020 has highlighted their courageous actions. Each day, as they don their elaborate personal protective equipment, they do not question their motivations. After every shift, when they arrive at their homes and have to avoid the touch of their own children and spouses until they have had the opportunity to further disinfect themselves, they do not wonder what they will be doing in the future. They know that they will continue to have the courage to care for all community members regardless of what the risk is. This is their path and they will continue to travel upon it. …

No, I am not personally sad because these outstanding people with incredible gifts for caring for others will be graduating and moving onward. They will forever be family members, regardless of where they call home in the future. What will make me sad is the simple fact that we will not be able to hug and physically toast to acknowledge their dedication and accomplishments. The traditions we have to commemorate them are simply not possible in the Summer of 2020. While high school, college, and professional school graduations are traditionally filled with pomp and circumstance, the graduation of residents is more subtle.  The work and effort residents dedicate are not easily repaid with gifts. The sacrifices that they make daily cannot be offset with caps, gowns, or speeches. Instead residency graduation is more filled with gratitude and appreciation and allegiance to continue the mission.

Please join me, the rest of the Emergency Medicine Residency Leadership, and the faculty, residents, nurses, and staff of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Carolinas Medical Center extending our genuine gratitude and appreciation to the graduating class of Emergency Medicine Residents 2020

  • Dr. Francisco Javier Andrade 
  • Dr. Jesse Blake Bauer 
  • Dr. Austin Thomas Costa 
  • Dr. Jeremy Neal Driscoll 
  • Dr. Ethen Ellington 
  • Dr. Christopher Allen Gardner 
  • Dr. Jessica Hoglund 
  • Dr. Robert Kregg Laundon 
  • Dr. Sean Liam Murray 
  • Dr. Colin O’Neill 
  • Dr. Jennifer Kneezel Potter 
  • Dr. Nicholena Etxegoien Richardson 
  • Dr. Angela Rombola 
  • Dr. Logan Michael Stark 

Please, let us not overlook the daily sacrifices we make to help each other. 

Sean M. Fox, MD 
Program Director 
Emergency Medicine Residency 
Carolinas Medical Center 
CMC Emergency Medicine Class of 2020
CMC Emergency Medicine Residency Class of 2020 – Socially Distant, but United.


Sean M. Fox
Sean M. Fox
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