Stephenie R. Fleegle, MD
I speak: English
My gender: Female
Where I practice
I was born and raised in rural Maryland, where I gained an appreciation for small-town life. After living in big cities on the East Coast during my medical training, I decided to travel to different parts of the country. When I came to Hawaii, I fell in love with the lifestyle, the culture, and the people. My father is a mortician and runs a funeral home with my mother. As I grew up watching my parents working with people in our community during critical times in their lives, I knew that I wanted to be in a profession where I could do the same good they were doing.
About my practice
I love science and I saw practicing medicine as a great way to combine these two interests. The supportive approach my parents took in handling situations with families influenced my decision to choose family medicine as my specialty. I have a lot of admiration for my grandparents, and they taught me how to respect and understand older people. After my family medicine residency, I did a fellowship in geriatrics, which seemed like a natural next step if I’d be working with families. I like being part of the decision-making as it relates to health, especially when it comes to helping patients in their later years. The wisdom and joy demonstrated by older patients is especially uplifting to me. I’m a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Geriatrics Society. To stay up-to-date on the latest developments in medicine, I read journal articles, listen to medical podcasts, and attend professional conferences. I learn a lot from the interaction I have with geriatric fellows at the University of Hawaii, John A. Burns School of Medicine, and with our own residents. After working in several care delivery systems, I’ve come to believe that having everything under one roof — specialists, testing, hospital stays, outpatient offices, and business operations — can translate into an excellent quality of care and convenience for patients. The Hawaii Permanente Medical Group was attractive to me as a place to practice because of its integrative model and because of its supportive and inclusive environment. I chose family medicine and geriatrics as my specialty because it places patients in the social context of their community and family. I also want to make sure that patients understand all of their options in the face of today’s complex technology, which requires more decision-making than ever. To connect with patients, I take time to talk to them. Everyone has a story to tell, and I love being surprised by what patients tell me, particularly when it’s about overcoming odds in their lives.
How I thrive
To stay physically and mentally healthy, I get up early most days and go for a run. I like to spend time with friends, and I schedule talks and video chats with my parents, brothers, nephews, and grandmother. I like to do anything outdoors, especially swimming, scuba diving, cycling, and occasionally participating in a race. Playing piano also helps me unwind. Away from work, I enjoy the wonderful restaurants in Hawaii, and I like to explore the islands, especially the Big Island, where I worked for a time before settling on Oahu.