September 5, 2012

Plattsburgh native practices medicine in military

NEW YORK CITY — Agnes Liem’s decision to enter the health-care field led her to active duty and to an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.”

Liem, who grew up in Plattsburgh and graduated from Plattsburgh High School in 1997, is a U.S. Air Force 1st lieutenant with the 87th Medical Group, stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.

She is a pediatric nurse practitioner with 2,500 children of active-duty personnel under her care.

“It’s been a wonderful experience,” Liem said of the position she has held since September 2011. “It’s been so much fun, serving the kids and their families.”


The connection to family was an important reason Liem chose to enter pediatrics.

“You’re working with different age groups and always have a totally different approach in how you provide care to individual children,” she said.

“But what I also find rewarding is the family aspect. You’re not only caring for the children, but you have to interact with the parents and family, as well.”

After graduating from PHS, Liem attended Cornell University, where she earned a degree in neurobiology.


“After Cornell, I was interested in some kind of field in health care,” Liem said. 

She initially took a job in Emergency Medical Services at CVPH Medical Center in 2003 and then moved to New York City, where she worked as a paramedic at New York Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.

“After working as an EMT, I realized early on that I was interested in ultimately becoming a paramedic. Where else to achieve that goal than to work in New York? I went to the paramedic course at Stony Brook University in Long Island and was hired at (Presbyterian).

“Being an EMS (provider) was a great choice,” she said. “Being a primary responder to patients in need, experiencing new things each day, it was a wonderful learning experience for me.”

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