Meet Dr. Chris Mills

VEMA Dr. Chris Mills and Family

A native of California, Dr. Christopher Mills has worked and researched all over the world. After graduating magna cum laude from Princeton with degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology, Dr. Mills returned to California to attend medical school at UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Highland Hospital in Oakland and began an International Emergency Medicine Fellowship at George Washington University. During his fellowship he taught courses and developed projects in nine countries, including Peru, Liberia, Qatar, and India.

Dr. Mills also holds a Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University. An assiduous researcher, he has published multiple articles and has served as an editor for the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine since 2003. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Mills has studied ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar, presented at several conferences, volunteered in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and worked on numerous projects with NASA. He is the Medical Director for the Inova Fair Oaks Emergency Department and has lived in northern Virginia since 2011.

Fun fact: Chris was published in the Wall Street Journal with a crossword puzzle he created for them! This took him many years, many attempts and countless edits back and forth with them.


Q: Can you tell us a little about your background?
A: I’m from California, I went to college in New Jersey, med school in San Diego, residency in Oakland, and then a 2 year international emergency medicine fellowship program at GW in DC. My wife Mary and I live in Arlington with our four kids. I started at VEMA in February, 2014.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about your career in medicine?
A: There are a lot of little annoyances about working in medicine–documentation, unreasonableness, etc.—but when it comes down to it we are making a significant difference in a lot of individual lives on a daily basis, and I still feel like I am learning new things every day even after 20 years.

Q: What are some of your hobbies and past times outside the Hospital?
A: Woodworking, Brazilian jiu jitsu, playing guitar, astronomy, backpacking, surfing (at least when I was in California *wistful sigh*)… and some others.

Q: If you were going to sing Karaoke, what’s your go-to song?
A: Probably “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver (I’m learning it on guitar) or “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey (I’m learning it on piano).

Q: What was your first job?
A: In high school I worked at a store called The Sharper Image, selling mostly crappy high-tech gadgets to people. I was pretty bad at it because a lot of the products were garbage and I couldn’t bring myself to schmooze my way into closing the sale.

Q: How many languages do you speak and how many countries have you visited?
A: I speak French and Spanish well, I speak barely passable Malagasy (the language in Madagascar), and I am currently learning German. I have visited around 50 countries.

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