Heather Marie Samuelson, MD, talks finding the right career path and being open to the unexpected


Heather Marie Samuelson, MD
Telemedicine Physician, MCR Health, DocMJ, and MD Staffers
Medical Director, Enliven Hydration and Wellness Center
Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Public Health Service Reserve Commissioned Corps

St. George's University School of Medicine, Grenada, West Indies

West Virginia University Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown, WV

What is your current position?

I am a telemedicine physician for MCR Health, DocMJ and MD Staffers. I am the Medical Director at Enliven Hydration and Wellness Center, and I am a Lieutenant Commander with the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Reserve Commissioned Corps.

Where did you attend medical school and postgrad training?

I attended medical school at St. George's University School of Medicine and did my residency at West Virginia University Ruby Memorial Hospital.

Why did you choose to become a physician?

I have always wanted to help people and felt like this was the best way for me to do that.

What field of internal medicine did you select and why?

Primary care so that I can utilize both my internal medicine and pediatrics skills.

Please describe a typical day in your practice.

My typical day varies depending on the job that I am doing. I see patients via telemedicine several days a week at a community health center, and I also do telemedicine for local hospital groups, Minute Clinic, and Teladoc at other times and on other days. I provide medical marijuana recommendations to patients with qualifying conditions as well. When deployed with the USPHS Reserve Commissioned Corps, I took care of migrants and crew members aboard a Coast Guard cutter.

What are some of your special interests professionally?

I trained to perform acupuncture right after I completed my residency and then went on to certify in travel medicine. I am also interested in genetics, space medicine, and wilderness medicine.

What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?

I also have my own business selling produce and arts & crafts at my local farmers' market. I like to do anything from macrame, knitting, and crocheting to stained glass, candle, and soap making.

What advice would you like to share with medical students, or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?

You will find the right path for you and it may not be what you expect. I certainly never thought I would be doing telemedicine, but I'm very happy with what I'm doing now. The USPHS Reserve Commissioned Corps didn't exist when I was first looking into it during medical school so take advantage of new opportunities as they come along.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to have musical abilities. We have a piano, guitars, and a violin at home but I can't play any of them, and I would like to learn to sing as well.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to have more confidence. I've been fortunate to be able to take advantage of a lot of opportunities in my life, but there are plenty of other things that I'd like to have the confidence to try.

What is your most treasured possession?

I got my first stethoscope as a gift from my grandparents when I was 4 years old, and I still have it in my medical bag.

What is your motto?

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. —Henry David Thoreau

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