Callie Schnitker is a second year resident in the Emergency Medicine Program at Regions Hospital. She grew up in St. Paul and attended medical school in Philadelphia. After medical school, she moved back to Minnesota and feels lucky to be able to work while staying close to home. She wants to do more for the community, and help patients with more than what she does in the ER every day as part of her job.  She recently volunteered to lead the Emergency Medicine Residency Program residents at Regions Hospital through the Emergency Medicine Day of Service.

EM Day of Service

EM Day of Service is a program led by the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association. It encourages emergency healthcare professionals to devote one day in September for identifying and addressing a need in the community. Last year, as part of EM day of service, the residents served breakfast at Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities.

Regions Hospital is a certified Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center, and the residents in the Emergency Medicine Program work closely with children and their families. So this year, they came together to cook and serve dinner at the Ronald McDonald Houses located in Gillette Specialty Center and St. Paul Children’s Hospital.

To make sure that colleagues working all shifts were included, the residents also volunteered to make sandwiches for the Minneapolis Recreational Development Program – an organization that serves the homeless population in St. Paul.

Helping beyond providing emergency medicine

As an Emergency Medicine Resident, Callie is no stranger to working long shifts and through difficult jobs. But she soon realized that organizing, cooking and serving food for a 100 people was not that easy either. It involved a lot of planning, organizing, buying cart-full of groceries with her two-year-old in tow, and making sure that she was able to include everyone.

Her colleagues offered generous help and came together to brighten the day for children and their families at the Ronald McDonald Houses. The residents also get encouragement from senior leaders and residency coordinators to volunteer and get introduced to new opportunities.

Callie volunteered throughout medical school – at free clinics and various organizations. She also volunteered earlier this year, representing Regions Hospital at the EMS tent during the Twin Cities Marathon. As someone who spends most of her time in an Emergency Room, she’s used to seeing patients and families in stress and needing help. While her job is to help, she finds that volunteering  helps her meet people outside the ER – helps her meet families of patients and get involved with other aspects of people’s lives. It isn’t always easy finding time – she works 8-hour shifts, days and nights.

“You have to make time for something you really want to do. You take naps when you can, sleep less if you have to – it’s fun and always worth it,” she said.


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