Noelle Palmstrom is a great example of how changing career plans can still bring you to the place you’re supposed to be. “When I was little, I told my parents I wanted to be a doctor.” Several life choices took her down a different path, one that led to her new role as a physician’s assistant in Memorial Hospital’s orthopedics’ and sports medicine practice. In this role she joins an orthopedic team diagnosing and treating patients with a variety of musculoskeletal injuries including joint replacement, broken limbs, and major and minor sprains.
At the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Palmstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in biology, and later earned a post baccalaureate pre-medical certificate also from UMass. She says she was “on the med school track, then life just pushed me in another direction.”
“I love family, I needed more work-life balance but wanted to stay in the medical field and have a level of autonomy. I wanted to be able to treat patients, so the physician assistant fit perfectly.”
Palmstrom then earned a master’s of science from the physician assistant program at Bryant University, where the curriculum included rotating among various medical specialties. She most recently worked in emergency medicine in Tucson, Arizona. Will she have difficulty moving to orthopedics? “I really love emergency medicine, but I was looking for something different.” At Memorial, she will work directly with Dr. Danielle Phinney, and will work with patients in both the orthopedic clinic and the operating room. “Even though we have only been working together a short time, it is easy to see Noelle’s passion for working with patients and her ability to connect with them and explain and educate them on their injuries and recoveries. I look forward to working together to serve our patients and I know Noelle will be an asset to Memorial Hospital as well as the community as a whole.”
A native of the Boston area, Palmstrom is also familiar with the Mt. Washington Valley. As a youth, she and her family drove past Memorial on their way to their home near Attitash, and claims to have often wondered, “What if I work there someday?” She adds she has not been skiing in about two years but is looking at her equipment in a new light now that she works in orthopedics.
The Orthopedics and Sports Medicine practice at Memorial Hospital treats patients who present with a variety of injuries and diseases to bones, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Some injuries can be treated without surgery while others require surgery. For information or to schedule an appointment with Memorial’s orthopedic practice, ask your primary care provider for a referral or call 603-356-7061.
About Memorial Hospital
Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit 25-bed Critical Access Hospital located in North Conway, NH, and is a member of the MaineHealth family. Its hospital services include a 24-hour emergency department, surgery center, clinical laboratory, heart health & wellness programs, imaging services, cardiopulmonary care, family birthing center, oncology, chemotherapy and infusion services. Practices include primary care and family medicine, diabetes care, behavioral health, women's health, podiatry, orthopedics and physical therapy. Memorial Hospital is also home to The Merriman House nursing home, which provides senior care services in a comfortable, home-like setting. For more information, www.memorialhospitalnh.org or call 603-356-5461.