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Healthy You

Grateful For You: Ernest Wang, MD

Monday, May 23, 2022 9:22 AM

As challenging as the COVID-19 pandemic has been, Chief of Emergency Medicine Ernest Wang, MD, believes that it helped make him a better leader. “It really gave me an even stronger purpose and I channeled that into doing the things that I thought were most important every day, knowing there were significant consequences if we didn't do them right," he said.

Ernest Wang, MDAs someone who enjoys a challenge and relishes a true sense of purpose, Dr. Wang is a natural leader praised for his caring and focus throughout the worst of the pandemic.

“Our team responded doing the best job we could, and for me it was a tremendous opportunity to serve patients, my team and colleagues," said Dr. Wang who is quick to acknowledge the importance of the true team effort and all those who came together and rose to the challenge.

Dr. Wang joined NorthShore as an attending in 1999, but was already very familiar with the campus as a Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine student and resident. While he said he thought about medicine as a career when he was in high school, he also spent a fair amount of time in college “making sure there was nothing else I wanted to do more."

As NorthShore celebrates Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Month, Dr. Wang notes that his family's values helped guide him into a career in medicine.

“Coming from an Asian family you're either going to be a doctor or an engineer and I found engineering not so interesting," joked Dr. Wang, whose Chinese parents came to the United States for graduate school and stayed to raise their family in California.

Dr. Wang and his wife Daria Pachovsky, MD, began dating while they were both residents at Evanston Hospital and joining NorthShore seemed “meant to be," he said. Spending time with family, including their four daughters ages 12-21 is a priority and source of great joy.

An active cyclist, Dr. Wang also took up running during the pandemic and found it to be a meditative outlet. He ran the Chicago Marathon last year, dedicating it to all the healthcare workers who put themselves on the line during the pandemic, and will be back on the course again this year.

“I believe you have to take care of yourself first or you won't be able to take care of your family, friends and patients. I try to structure my day to get a good workout in, that's my grounding," said Dr. Wang. “Every day is a gift and a not a day goes by without recognition that the next day is not guaranteed."

“I can't say enough about the family atmosphere we have in emergency medicine. I'm so fortunate with my family and my wife who is the reason I can do what I do, but I also feel very blessed with my work family," he added.

Newly elected to the American Board of Emergency Medicine Board of Directors, Dr. Wang also serves as the Assistant Dean for Medical Education at NorthShore, keeping him engaged and grateful for the opportunities to be continually challenged.