Vice Chair of Clinical Operations for Emergency Medicine,
Baystate Medical Center: Age 37
It wasn’t until late in his undergraduate studies at Westfield State University that Dr. Seth Gemme even thought about having those two letters appear before his name.
In fact, his initial aspiration was to be a meteorologist — he had an internship with Adam Strzempko at WWLP while in high school. But he eventually became an EMT, which brought him into the ER at Baystate Noble, which eventually led to a job there, which eventually led him to develop a fondness for the ER and the desire to be a doctor in that setting … which led him to the University of Buffalo Medical School, where he graduated first in his class.
That led to a residency at Brown University, and — here we can fast-forward a little — eventually Gemme returned to this region and to Baystate Noble Hospital, and then chief of the ED at Baystate Wing Hospital, and now, vice chair of Clinical Operations in the ED at Baystate Medical Center.
It has a been a fast and quite impressive ascent for Gemme, whose job (more of a passion, really) involves a mix of clinical work and administrative duties. When he’s not tending to patients, he’s working to improve processes, reduce wait times, and improve capacity management.
Like most who choose the ER, he prefers to say it found him, and he notes that he likes everything about it, from the pace of the work to the fact that every day, every hour is different.
“I like helping people at their most vulnerable time, and hopefully being someone who can change a life,” he explained.
He described the pandemic years as difficult and exhausting, with a full range of emotions.
“Initially, we were heroes; it was the first time where people stopped yelling at us and brought us food,” he joked, adding that the COVID years provided learning experiences and opportunites to grow professionally on many levels.
While the ER is the focus of his workday, Gemme has many other priorities and pursuits, starting with his family — his wife Chelsie and daughters Harlow and Hanna. There’s also his music — he plays guitar and piano and sings, and appears both solo and in an indie folk trio, the Ship and the Shield. Meanwhile, he’s also one of the team physicians for the Springfield Thunderbirds and a board member for Hilltown Ambulance.
Needless to say, he’s instrumental to the health and wellness of people of this region — in every sense of that word.