Danal Snyder, MD, has joined the Family Medicine practice of Northern Regional Hospital, where she will diagnose and treat patients for a wide-variety of clinical conditions – including supervised weight management, and all forms of seasonal and chronic conditions including asthma, COPD and diabetes. Dr. Snyder served previously on the medical staff of Central Peninsula Hospital, in Soldotna, Alaska – where she saw a steady stream of patients at a rural outpatient clinic.
A board-certified Family Medicine specialist, Dr. Snyder says she appreciates and enjoys the doctor/patient interaction that is the foundation of her chosen specialty. “I’m committed to building a relationship with my patients – and it has to be real,” she says. “When I’m hearing a patient’s story, I try to put myself in their shoes and then apply my medical knowledge and skills to help build a bridge from where they are to where they want to be.”
Dr. Snyder is excited about joining the physician staff of Northern Family Medicine, a division of Northern Regional Hospital. “I was impressed and felt right at home with the culture of caring and sense of community that exists at Northern,” she says. “I was equally impressed with the entire leadership team,” she adds. She is also pleased to be returning to North Carolina – where she received her medical education and training. “Alaska was a beautiful place,” she says, “but North Carolina has it all – including the beach – which is especially important because my husband loves to surf!” she laughs.
Although Dr. Snyder doesn’t remember announcing, as a young girl, that she would someday become a doctor; she says her mother remembers it well … and has proudly shared that story with the family over the years! “No one else in my family was a doctor; but I have always been interested in connecting with people and healing,” she says.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1998 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from North Carolina State University, she was encouraged by a mentor to enroll in medical school. Accepted for admission by several schools, she chose Brody School of Medicine of East Carolina University to pursue her medical education. After earning her medical degree from Brody in 2004, she began a three-year residency training program in Family Medicine at the University Medical Center of Eastern Carolina.
As Dr. Snyder moved confidently and meticulously from college to medical school and then her internship program, her path to becoming a Family Medicine specialist was enriched and strengthened by both marriage and motherhood. Today, she and her husband Travis, a Navy veteran and educator, are parents to two sons and a daughter (21-year-old Jonas, 16-year-old Mark, and 14-year-old Adia).
In addition to providing direct patient care, Dr. Snyder has held executive-level leadership positions with several urgent-care companies that allowed her to develop and direct operations to improve the delivery of quality care to patients. As a healthcare administrator, she relied heavily on “efficiency and data” factors to achieve organizational goals to enhance care.
But as a physician, she also relies on her inherent ability to be empathetic, understanding, and collaborative – traits which she feels were formed by her somewhat traditional middle-class upbringing. “My father was in the Navy and we had the opportunity to travel from San Diego, California, to Naples, Italy, to Virginia Beach, Virginia. My mother is Mexican American, and after my parents separated, she raised me and my sister against many odds, facing discrimination in various forms,” recalls Dr. Snyder. Through all these varied experiences, she has come to appreciate hard work and meeting people where they are. “I respect and relate well to blue-collar and military folks – because I don’t have to use my imagination,” she laughs.
“Taking care of my patients is about collaboration,” she continues. “It requires working together and understanding the barriers unique to them. As their doctor, I give them as much information as I can and offer treatment choices so they can choose quality-of-life options that are right for them.”
When not attending to patients, Dr. Snyder joins with her husband and children in immersing themselves in their new community. While she looks forward to exploring and learning more about Mount Airy and the surrounding areas, much of their family time is now spent at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. Together, they enjoy making music – with her husband on guitar; her sons on bass guitar and drums, respectively; and her daughter singing. Dr. Snyder also enjoys working out by running and swimming, as well as reading, cooking, and doing crafts with her teenage daughter. “I mostly enjoy being part of what they’re interested in,” she says.
Dr. Snyder is a member of many professional organizations and societies, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians, and the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Danal Snyder, call the Northern Family Medicine Office at 336-786-4133. The practice site is in the same building as Northern Wellness & Fitness Center (formerly ProHealth), which is located at 280 North Pointe Boulevard, Mount Airy, NC.