Hear Me Roar
Photography by Christian Lee
Amanda L. Parks, MD
Director of Infection Control and Antimicrobial Stewardship at Hilton Head Hospital and Coastal Carolina Hospital; Infectious Disease
Associates of the Lowcountry
Hometown: Johnson City, TN
Family: A dog, a cat, and
a Percheron (horse)
What exactly does an Infectious Disease doctor do? It really depends on where you practice and what type of practice you have. At our hospitals, I do four things: consult on patients with complicated infections; round with pharmacy daily on use/dosage/appropriateness of antimicrobials; prevent hospital acquired infections; and prevent spread of resistant organisms.
What is the No. 1 thing the general public should know about Infection Control? Whether it is measles, influenza, MRSA or the judicious use of antibiotics, it really does take everyone working together to effect a greater good for us and generations to come. (Which means: get vaccinated, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands, and only use antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection!)
My next big thing is: Africa. Being blessed with supportive staff, colleagues and administration, I am able to leave for one month to pursue mission work. For years I have wanted to be involved with an orphanage, and when Dr. Vanderslice asked me to join them this year, I said yes without hesitation. I’m also spending time at a research facility, which has an HIV/TB clinic. In addition to patient care, I am looking forward to spending time with other doctors and scientists there.
They say you learn something new every day. What’s the most recent thing you’ve learned: I have been reading about the role of micronutrient deficiencies such as Zinc and Vitamin D in infections.
If I knew at 18, what I know now, I would want a do over on… Two things: 1. All the worrying I have done—it’s useless! And 2. Piano lessons—I should have stuck with it!
The best idea I’ve had this month is: To buy a home in Old Town Bluffton!
What is your hidden talent? I am gifted in the art of napping. Powernaps are my wheelhouse.
Other than work, I am passionate about… the privilege of being an American and my health.
The most random thing in my purse right now is… It’s a toss-up. There’s a Kenyan Visa and a weird color of nail polish called “Tiddly” that my mother threatened to disown me if I ever wear it again.
What makes you laugh out loud? Key and Peele, a television show on Comedy Central, especially Luther the Anger Translator and Substitute Teacher.
Why did you decide on that specialty? It is the most interesting subspecialty (by far).
You can hear me roar about: Antimicrobial Stewardship. Each year I see a greater number of resistant bacteria that simply cannot be treated. The only way to slow this process is through the judicious use of antibiotics, which is known as Antimicrobial Stewardship. This year, I have been working to develop robust multidisciplinary teams at both hospitals, maximizing our collective resources and am truly blessed with two fabulously intelligent, dedicated teams (of women!). It has been a slow process, but we are steadily achieving our goals.