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Meet the new medical director of VCU Health CMH’s Emergency Department

Carl Wentzel, MD, FACEP

In August, VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital hired Carl Wentzel, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., as the new medical director for its Emergency Department, succeeding Dr. Brown, who retired. We sat down with Dr. Wentzel to get to know him.

What are your qualifications?

I earned my medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. I completed my residency in emergency medicine at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. I am a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians and a past president of the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians.

Describe your role in the Emergency Department.

I spend 80% of my time as an emergency physician, treating patients in the Emergency Department. The other 20% is administrative work.

What is your goal for this community?

I want to help bring CMH to its fullest potential as a community hospital. Our goal is to provide top quality care and excellent customer service. Providing these services locally helps patients and families by keeping them close to home without the need to travel far away for their healthcare.

What is your philosophy of care?

I believe in shared decision making. Patients should be educated and involved in their treatment plan. My job is to ensure that they are aware and involved in their healthcare decisions.

Why did you choose emergency medicine?

Healthcare is a calling to serve others. We have the privilege of intersecting with people at some of the worst times in their lives. The Emergency Department requires empathy and compassion. I enjoy the variety of situations encountered in the Emergency Department.

Tell us about your family.

I currently live in Yorktown. My wife is a nurse and we have four grown children. We are expecting our second grandchild this spring.

What do you do in your time off?

I have a golden retriever and we train and compete in field trials. I have a Coast Guard Captain’s license and enjoy sailing and boating on the Chesapeake Bay.

Describe your volunteer experience.

I have volunteered with Operation Smile in six different countries. I served as committee chairman for a Boy Scout Troop for seven years. Every summer, I volunteer as a staff physician at Camp Sea Gull, a YMCA summer camp for boys in Arapahoe, North Carolina.

Is there anything you want the community to know?

In the beginning of the pandemic, we saw a lot of older people dying before vaccines were available. Now we’re seeing younger people in their 20s and 30s requiring hospitalization and even dying from not being vaccinated. These deaths can be prevented so easily now. It is difficult to see otherwise healthy people so critically ill. Please get vaccinated.