featurinG Dr. sarah heinceLman
We invite you to learn more about Dr. Heincelman and her journey to become a family physician as we celebrate Women’s History Month 2021.
Q: What influenced you most in your decision to become a physician?
A: While my journey here has been challenging at times and I continue to struggle with work-life balance of being a working mom to twin boys, I wouldn’t change a thing. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a doctor. While there is not one particular thing that led me to this decision, I just know that ever since I was little and my family asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always a doctor. As I made my way through college, I contemplated other careers in science. I spent two summers working with an oncologist in St. Louis mostly involved in research. However, he would let me tag along with him to his clinic once a week. I remember being in awe of the relationships that he had with his patients and the trust they placed in his care for them. This was ultimately what drove me to choose a career in medicine, the physician-patient relationship. I still value this most in my practice today as well. "
Q: What have some of your greatest rewards been as a primary care physician?
A: "I love having the ability to form relationships with patients and their extended family, of providing care for them, helping them to lead healthier lives, and hopefully explaining things in a manner that is understandable and relatable to them. I always tell my patient’s that I truly do think of them and remember them even outside of the office, wondering how they are doing with various things that we have discussed or various challenges that they are facing. It is truly an honor that they have placed their trust and health in me."
Q: What are your future goals as a physician?
A: "I am blessed to be a part of Berkeley Family Practice. From the moment that I interviewed with this practice, I could tell that the other providers here were truly in medicine for the right reasons, having an honest desire to help others, and that they also place a high value on the patient-physician relationship. My hope is that I am able to continue to gain the trust of my patients and form lasting relationships as their physician so that I may be a part of their “family” long into the future."
Q: Do you have any words of encouragement for a young girl or a woman who wishes to dream big just as you have?
A: "I have been very blessed to have unwavering support of my family throughout the arduous process of becoming a physician. I specifically remember a teacher in high school (not a very good one :), telling me that I would never make it as a physician and that as a female I would “hit the glass ceiling”. While I had unending support from many other teachers throughout my life, this one challenge always stuck with me. With unending amounts of hard work and support from my family and many other teachers along the way, I was able to succeed in completing my goal. I would tell any young females that the key to success is believing in yourself and your dream, placing trust in your family and friends who believe in you, and a lot of hard work."
Dr. Heincelman is originally from New Philadelphia, OH. She attended University of Dayton where she received a B.S. in Biology and minor in Social Work. She went on to attend medical school at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She completed her Family Medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina where she served as Chief Resident. She is board-certified in Family Medicine.
Dr. Heincelman loves spending time with her husband, Marc, twin boys, and her dogs. She resides on James Island where she enjoys running, reading, and spending time at the beach. She is also a big sports fan - go Irish!