Theresa Emory, M.D. (PATH ’94)
President Elect, Board Member
(originally published in 2014)
Gastrointestinal Pathologist, Anatomic and Clinical Pathologist
Peninsula Pathology Associates, Riverside Regional Medical Center
Newport News, Virginia
“‘The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered’ has guided my medical career every day of my practice and my life away from medicine.”
- Residency: Pathology, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education
- Medical School: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia
- Undergraduate: University of Virginia, Charlottesville
- Native of: Arlington, Virginia
Why did you decide to pursue medicine?
My parents were physicians. I thought I’d be a veterinarian. As an animal science major, I became interested in research. At 19, while volunteering with a pathologist, I decided that pathology would afford the opportunity to care for patients and engage in medical research.
Why did you train at Mayo Clinic?
My husband, Dr. Roger Emory (S ’94), and I were in the military and had the opportunity to pursue nonmilitary residencies after our internships. We’d heard of Mayo from friends who trained there. We knew Mayo’s reputation for patient-centered, coordinated medical care was unique, and Mayo was renowned for cutting-edge technology. The small-town location was appealing because we had an infant son.
What was your initial impression of Mayo Clinic?
The volume of patients allowed for subspecialization, which let trainees be exposed to highly unusual medical conditions on a daily basis. This provided an incredible breadth of education.
How does Mayo Clinic influence your practice?
“The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered” has guided my medical career every day of my practice and my life away from medicine. It has encouraged me to be involved in my community.
Because of Mayo I’m much more aware of the fluid nature of medical knowledge, need to be involved in advances in medicine, and importance of bringing public and government into the conversation. I’ve become involved with legislative affairs through professional organizations and in my state, advocating for changes in laws that protect patients.
What valuable lesson did you learn at Mayo Clinic?
As we face significant changes in our health care system in the U.S., I believe we will navigate through these changes if the patient stays front and center, and the end results will be higher quality health care with more efficiency.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
I love to travel and learn about the history, cultures and people around the world. I made it to all seven continents before age 50, and I swam in Antarctica without a wetsuit in January 2012.