Dr. Douglas Meardon was born and raised in North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, he went on to study medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine. After finishing medical school in 2013, he relocated back to North Carolina to complete his residency at Atrium Health’s (previously Carolinas Healthcare System) Carolinas Medical Center (CMC) Biddle Point Family Medicine where he currently practices.
While family medicine was Meardon’s primary field of study, he had a special interest in HIV/AIDS leading to him practicing both family care as well as HIV primary and preventive care. CMC Biddle Point Family Practice aims to meet the unique medical needs of the city’s urban population, such as homelessness, violence, HIVAIDS, and teenage pregnancy, the facility’s website states.
Can you tell me a little bit about your career working in HIV care?
During medical school, I decided to pursue family medicine. I sought additional training in HIV medicine while in my family medicine residency. After residency, I was practicing in a more rural setting before transitioning to Charlotte, N.C. where I currently practice.
What led you to want to work in this particular field?
As an openly gay man, I want to give back to the LGBTQ community. It can be hard to find out members in the medical community, and especially ones that work with the underserved/uninsured population. Primary and HIV care is about relationships and seeing people as a whole instead of just a disease.
What has it been like working in a field that is, even today, surrounded by a lingering negative stigma?
I strive to create a safe space for my patients where they can be open and themselves. It is incredibly rewarding and has been an honor to care for some amazingly resilient and unique individuals.
In recent decades, there have been several advancements made in the way of HIV treatment and prevention. Based on your experience, how have these advancements impacted those affected by HIV?
Simplified drug regimens with one pill once daily options have been revolutionary. I had one long-term survivor tell me he never thought it would be possible for him. Unfortunately, there is a high cost associated with these drugs that goes unchecked, which can be a huge barrier to care.
Did you always know that you wanted to study medicine?
I had my first exposure to medicine when I was an EMT (emergency medical technician). I saw so many 911 calls due to lack of healthcare access and preventive medicine. It prompted me to pursue a career in primary care.
What is the most challenging part of working in your field?
The systemic challenges that present barriers to accessing healthcare such as lack of transportation and underinsurance.
What is your favorite color?
Turquoise is my power color.
If you were visited by a magic genie who promised to grant you three wishes, what would you wish for?
Dark Chocolate was calorie-free.
Paid paternity leave.
What would you say is the best part about living in North Carolina?
I think it’s people. I was born and raised here, attended the amazing University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and then came back after living in D.C. Having lived and worked in both the city and rural areas, we have such a talented and unique population.
What is the last concert you attended?
Grace Potter is a powerhouse performer.
Are you married or in a relationship?
I am married.
Do you have any children?
Yes, we have a daughter.
What is your all-time favorite place to vacation?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would love to visit Southeast Asia with its unique cultures and food.
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