In honor of Memorial Day and Independence Day, we are sharing stories this summer of our amazing doctors who have served as members of the U.S. military. These veterans now dedicate their time to treating our patients at Columbia Skin Clinic. We thank them for their service and appreciate everything they do for our patients every day.
Dr. Greta Zimmerman grew up as a military brat with her father, a career Army officer, as a role model. She knew she wanted the same opportunity to serve her country. Enjoying a long-time camaraderie with many of her Columbia Skin Clinic patients who themselves were in service is one of the ways her military experience has impacted her life as a physician. She was stationed at Fort Jackson, and a number of her patients chose to stay with her even when she left the Army; she has now been treating them for more than 25 years!
After completing her military obligation as a dermatologist, Dr. Zimmerman joined Columbia Skin Clinic in 1996. Her service experience prepared her well for the transition to private practice, but she says there are definitely differences. “In the military, you don’t have control of many aspects of your clinic, from personnel to supplies,” says Zimmerman. “In private practice at Columbia Skin Clinic, it is up to me to make sure my patients get the best possible treatment and overall experience.”
Dr. Zimmerman attended medical school on a Health Professions Military Scholarship, completing her internal medicine residency and dermatology residency at Fort Sam Houston. She then served in the military for 13 years, earning her highest rank as a lieutenant colonel. She says she feels very blessed to be able to earn an education while serving in the United States Army and to be able to make a living helping people in a profession she so loves.
During her military career, Dr. Zimmerman was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, Fort Knox and Fort Jackson. She treated a wide spectrum of patients while serving in the Army, including preparing soldiers for deployment in Desert Storm. During that time, she encountered multiple unusual tropical diseases in soldiers who were returning home and gained valuable medical knowledge.
According to Dr. Zimmerman, one of the biggest challenges she faced while in the Army was the worry that she would be deployed away from her four children. She also says the clothes were undoubtedly not flattering!
She has this advice for doctors considering a military career: “Know exactly what the requirements are before considering it and speak with someone who has gone that route. Also, be physically fit!”
Dr. Zimmerman practices in the Columbia and Camden offices. Contact us today to make an appointment with Dr. Zimmerman.