“A Fan for All Seasons”
Where the Blue Ridge yawns its greatness or where the Ashley River meets the Cooper River – Clarice Clemmens, M.D., pediatric ENT at MUSC Children’s Health has embraced the many charms of South Carolina’s culture. The Idaho native, turned Clemson fan-fanatic cannot imagine a more perfect place to have a career as a pediatric ENT provider or raise her family.
Clarice first moved to South Carolina in 2001 when she accepted an academic scholarship to Clemson University and joined the soccer team. While her soccer career eventually faded, her love for the Clemson Tigers did not. “I had no connection to Clemson prior to my college experience,” she explains from her office decorated in orange, purple and tiger paws, “but my family and I are now dedicated Clemson fans. Our kids even named their Elf on the Shelf 'Dabo.'”
Clarice currently lives on James Island with her husband and three kids, ages 4, 2, and 4 months old. “Between working as a full-time surgeon and 3 kids under the age of 5, life is pretty busy,” continues Clarice. In the beginning of this journey, she instinctively knew she would pursue a career in medicine and most likely in pediatrics, but the decision to pursue a surgical field came as a surprise. “I fainted at the site of blood when I enrolled in medical school, and I could never quite imagine myself as a surgeon,” Clarice explains. “Fortunately, my father who is also a surgeon encouraged me to accompany him into the OR during my first year of medical school and the rest is history.”
Clarice completed medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina followed by an ENT residency at the Hospital of University of Pennsylvania and a pediatric ENT fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She eventually found her way back to Charleston in 2015 when she joined the pediatric ENT team at MUSC Children’s Health.
Beyond her skills as a surgeon, Dr. Clemmens is the only fellowship-trained female pediatric ENT specialist in the state of South Carolina, a differentiation in which she takes great pride. “I feel that I bring a unique perspective in my approach to patient care, and can appreciate the concerns of parents as both a physician and a mother,” explains Clemmens. “I understand how difficult it can be to watch your child suffer, and use this understanding in addition to my medical training to guide to my patients and families through their individual situations.”
Through the years, she has discovered there are many families who are huge fans of the Clemson Tigers, but what we also know is that here in the Lowcountry; there are also huge fans of Clarice Clemmens. MUSC is so grateful for her talents and dedication she brings to our team. Go team Clemmens!