Skip to Content (Press Enter)
What’s it like to be a CHoR doctor? Get a glimpse!
March 30, 2021
National Doctors Day

We're celebrating all of our CHoR docs this National Doctors’ Day!

On any given day at CHoR, you may find a resident collaborating with an attending physician, a fellow comparing notes with an intern colleague or a seasoned doctor explaining a complex diagnosis and treatment plan to a group of house staff. That’s the beauty of an academic medical center specializing in providing outstanding care and developing future medical leaders.

From interns just beginning on their journey after medical school to veteran physicians with decades of experience, we celebrate all of our CHoR docs this National Doctors’ Day!

We asked three of our physicians at varying levels to share some insight into their roles as doctors at CHoR.

Grace Mueller, MD - CHoR residentGrace Mueller, MD
Department of Pediatrics, PGY3 resident

Where did you attend undergraduate and medical school?

Undergraduate: The College of William & Mary (2014)
Medical school: Eastern Virginia Medical School (2018)

Why did you choose to become a doctor?

I can't remember exactly when I decided, but ever since I went to college the decision just felt so obvious to me! I've always loved science and biology, and I've always loved taking care of kids. Being a pediatrician basically combines the two in the best way possible. Getting to know these kids and parents, getting to be a part of their lives, witnessing their bravery and supporting them through the hard things – it really is so humbling and such an honor in a way that I never anticipated.

What does a typical day look like for you at CHoR?

Honestly, every day is different! Such is the nature of residency. When I work in the inpatient units, sometimes I work with just the little babies, other times I work more with older kids. Some weeks I take care of the sickest, most critically ill kids, some weeks I take care of the ones who are doing a little better. And then sometimes I don't work inpatient at all, and I'm in the clinics doing check-ups and talking with new moms about their parenting challenges. The diversity of my experiences has been wonderful, and I truly do love every nook and cranny of CHoR!

Do you have a favorite work memory?

It is so hard to pinpoint just one. Something that always comes to mind is Halloween in the pediatric units, dressing up and putting on the best Halloween we can for the kids who have to stay in the hospital. Sometimes each team picks a theme. The stand-out costumes I remember are our team all dressing up as crayons, and two residents who both dressed up as squirrels with giant tails. As for myself, I usually just wear a Pokemon onesie to keep it simple but fun.

Other than that, my favorite memories are an accumulation of little things about all the incredible people I've met at CHoR. Co-residents, our nursing staff, attending physicians – everyone is just wonderful. So, I think my favorite thing is that I even got to know these people at all.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I'm going to be honest – I am unabashedly a nerd, and I never want to grow up. Star Wars, superheroes, comic books, Nintendo and more... I love it all, and I'm not shy about it. I even have a stash of fun themed work badge lanyards that I switch out every now and again! A lot of people think you have to let go of fun things to grow up, let go of fun things to be a doctor, and I'm here to say that's not true. Hold on to your spirit and hold on to your wonder. You can do anything you want to do, be anything you want to be!


Miheret S Yitayew, MD, MPH - CHoR neonatal-perinatal fellowMiheret S Yitayew, MD, MPH
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine fellow, PGY-6

Where did you attend undergraduate and medical school?

I went to the University of Gondar Medical School in Ethiopia. I completed a master’s in public health at the West Virginia University School of Public Health and a pediatric residency at the John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital, Cook County, Chicago, Illinois. 

Why did you choose to become a doctor?

As a young compassionate person, intrigued by the complexity of human anatomy and with a zeal for helping and easing suffering of children, medicine was a natural choice.

What does a typical day look like for you at CHoR?

A typical day at the CHoR NICU is mainly filled with unpredictability – most with happy and some with unfortunate endings. When I arrive at 7 a.m., I will not know what the day holds except for the guaranteed excitement of being surrounded by tiny human beings who I get to help thrive and working with an incredible team of providers. Every morning, I attend daily clinical rounds with the team that cares for each baby. The rest of my day entails continuing to care for the patients by executing a detailed clinical management plan for each baby and attending high risk deliveries. Some days include a ground or helicopter ride to transport acutely sick infants transferred to our unit for a higher level of care.

Through it all, connecting with and being present for families in their distressed times gives me the most satisfaction. When I am not in the NICU I am either in our neonatal continuing care follow up clinic seeing the smiling faces of the now toddler NICU graduates or working on research projects. The humanity we share with each family’s story of joy and sorrow and the incredible compassion of all the staff makes each day in the NICU special.

Do you have a favorite work memory?

Helping deliver a baby in an ambulance on my first day of community pediatrics rotation as a first-year resident while “riding along” to learn about the community’s medical emergency services in rural Illinois is one I still remember fondly.


Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, MD - CHoR Pediatric Emergency Medicine DoctorName: Patrick McLaughlin, MD, MS
Pediatric Emergency Medicine attending physician

Where did you attend undergraduate and medical school?

Undergraduate: George Washington University (2001)
Graduate school: Georgetown University (2004)
Medical school: George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (2008)

Why did you choose to become a doctor?

I went to medical school to be a pediatrician. I was really inspired to care for children who by no fault of their own become ill or injured. Easing a child's symptoms and fears with a caring and careful approach was often ignored by physicians and I really wanted to change that!

What does a typical day look like for you at CHoR?

The emergency department is a very exciting place to care for children and their families. Most of my days (or nights) are spent hopping from room to room examining sick children, repairing their cuts or broken bones and collaborating with our amazing ER staff. I also really enjoy teaching residents and medical students how to care for the bravest patients they will meet in their careers as doctors. I always wear my running shoes to work!

Do you have a favorite work memory?

Occasionally I have the opportunity to see a family or patient on a second visit to the ER. I recently cared for a seriously ill young man who had a life-threatening asthma attack and required care in the PICU. He spent several days on a ventilator but ultimately made a full recovery. About six months later I was walking down the hall of the ER when I heard a woman yell from a patient's room "Hey Dr. Pat, remember us?! Don't worry, he's not that sick this time. Thanks so much for saving my boy!" They still bring a smile to my face.

Anything else you’d like to add?

My wife and I are both former Lieutenant Commanders in the U.S. Navy. She currently cares for military veterans as a nephrologist at the VA Hospital in Richmond. We have two amazing children, Mallory who is 7 and Mark who is 3. I have also been known to do push-ups while upside down in a handstand for fun.

Learn more about all of our CHoR doctors

Subscribe to our blog

Sign Up