2022 Champions of Health Care: Dr. Colleen Schmitt, physician — community

Galen Medical Group president’s career of service includes a gastroenterology practice, teaching, conducting research and volunteering

Staff photo by Matt Hamilton / Dr. Colleen Schmitt at Galen Digestive Health in Chattanooga.

After more than three decades in exam rooms, procedure rooms, classrooms and board rooms, gastroenterologist Colleen Schmitt has seen it all. That's a safe bet.

"A career trajectory is not necessarily linear," Schmitt says about the diverse, demanding path that is her life's work. "It's not always pedal to the metal; you make adjustments. If you don't, you might miss opportunities."

Case in point: Leading a large, physician-owned multi-specialty group was not necessarily in the game plan, but that's where Schmitt landed in 2016 when her partners elected her president of Galen Medical Group. She is the first women to lead the group that includes about 60 physicians,

She balances her work as group president ("I was the right person at the right time," she says) with managing her own gastroenterology practice, teaching, conducting research and volunteering with local, state and national physician and related organizations.