Sometimes it is the life-challenging events that lead to life-altering opportunities. Such was the case for 2001 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate Angie (Johnson) Qualio.
Starting out as an art major, the Little Chute native changed her mind and her major during her father’s serious illness her freshman year in college. She experienced a sense of frustration in not fully understanding the illness, while at the same time, she felt compelled by curiosity to explore more about the field of medicine.
“I had already taken Human Biology as a freshman as a general education requirement and loved it,” Qualio explained. “I realized at this time just how fascinating I found medicine to be. When I returned for my sophomore year of school, I made the decision to pursue medical school and declared my major as Human Biology.”
Qualio is now an emergency physician (and junior partner) with Green Bay Emergency Medicine Services at Bellin Hospital, Green Bay. In January 2014 she became the department chair.
“Being an emergency physician is both thrilling and challenging — we get to see, and to help, people at a time in their lives when they are most in need, scared, and unsure of what is going on,” she says. “Although, for the most part, it is not a crazy adrenaline rush, there are times when every second does count and people come in in very bad shape and it is rewarding to be able to, sometimes, make a scary situation end in a positive way.”
After graduating from UWGB in May of 2001, Qualio took a year off to work in the physiology department at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She then earned a medical degree from Des Moines University, in Iowa and attended residency at Palmetto Health Richland Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina. She shared responsibilities as a chief resident with one other resident in her third year, graduating in 2009.
“Entering medical school, I was unsure what specialty I was going to follow, but as I decided on emergency medicine, I did envision myself working in an emergency room in Wisconsin and am thrilled that my path brought me back to Green Bay.”
She and her husband Aaron Qualio ’01, (Public Administration and Political Science) also a UW-Green Bay graduate, have two daughters, a four-year-old and an infant.
“I definitely believe that UWGB prepared me to not only get accepted in to medical school, but to thrive there, due to the base of knowledge I attained from the Human Biology program, and in particular the faculty,” she said, pointing out Professor Brian Merkel and professors emeriti Richard Stevens and Ron Starkey as especially influential.
“I’d say my favorite memories of UWGB include meeting my husband, the many great friends I made, and always feeling like the faculty was accessible and sincerely cared about how I was doing both at GB and in regards to my post-graduation plans.”