Photo of Destiny Lawton.

United Physician Group Spotlight: Destiny Lawton, CMA

As a child, Destiny Lawton would accompany her mother to flea markets, where she sold her oils. “I watched how she would get to know people, one-on-one,” Lawton says, “seeing what they liked, what they didn’t like, what they needed, what they didn’t need. Then she would guide them in the right direction.”

That ability to connect with people, to understand their needs, to guide them wisely and well: young Destiny learned it well by her mother’s side, and it has served her career and life’s purpose ever since.

Lawton’s mother also taught her to value education and advancement. “My mother instilled in me the importance of finding a job you can grow with,” she says, “something that will always be there.”

Connecting, helping, learning, and always growing… It led Lawton naturally to a career in healthcare. “I am also a health nut,” she says. “Health has always been a part of me.”

So she majored in chemistry and pre-health at South Carolina State, then went on to graduate cum laude from Miller-Motte College, earning her CNA and CMA, and, for good measure, a certification in medical billing and coding.

She has continued to pursue additional education and training. “I do enjoy school, though sometimes I don’t know why,” she says, laughing. “The bills are high. But I love learning something new, because I know that I can use what I learn to help people.”

Doing Her Part to Ease Patient Pain

At United Physician Group Pain Management of Myrtle Beach, Lawton supports interventional pain management specialist Dr. Elizabeth Snoderly. “I’m Dr. Snoderly’s right-hand woman up front,” Lawton says. But like everyone at the clinic, she takes on many roles, doing whatever it takes to get their patients the best care.

“I work the front desk, serve as the pre-op nurse, do new patient consults, prep patients for their procedures, send clearance letters to cardiologists…” She loves connecting with patients, figuring out what they need, and collaborating with the entire clinic team to relieve their pain. “Patients know I’m here to take care of them,” she says.

It’s all very much a team effort, according to Lawton, with everyone working together to ease patients’ pain. “Dr. Snoderly is a phenomenal doctor who’s known throughout the county and even in other states. Her bedside manner is wonderful. Patients love her. Some bring her back gifts from their travels,” she says. And when a patient calls with an urgent need, a full schedule doesn’t matter. “She’ll ask me, ‘Well Destiny, do you think we can get them in?’”

“We have two other phenomenal providers,” Lawton says, naming Amy Hancock, PA, and Jammie Emerson, NP. “Ms. Hancock is my go-to for any questions I may have about a patient… or my personal life. And Ms. Emerson is so kind-hearted. Like everyone here, she’s a people-pleaser.”

Lawton reports directly to Denise Minks, LPN, the pain management clinic’s clinical coordinator. “I wouldn’t trade her for the world,” Lawton says. “Her heart is so warm. She’s so very caring, and she makes sure she supports us in every way. If something doesn’t seem right, she consults with us, then says, ‘Let me see how I can make it better.’”

The whole team, Lawton says, is united in their commitment to bring patients comfort. “They know that we’re here for them,” she says, “and I love seeing the smiles of relief.” 

“We had one patient call recently,” says Lawton. “She said, ‘Thank you so much for getting me in. I have not had this much relief for eight months. Please tell Dr. Snoderly that she’s phenomenal.’”

Calls like that make all the hard work worth it.

Still Learning, Still Growing

Lawton isn’t sure what’s next in her career. She loves what she’s doing, but she’s still taking every opportunity available to learn and grow. She thinks about moving to a back office job and advancing toward a higher position in healthcare administration. “But if I work in the back, I’m going to lose the connection with my patients and what they need,” she says.

Education and career advancement have never been ends in themselves for Lawton. They always serve her commitment to connecting with people, to helping them. Whatever her next step, she’ll find a way to keep doing that. She’s clear on what’s most important to her. “I like to see their smiles at the end.”


Are you suffering acute or chronic pain? The people of United Physician Group Pain Management want to help. Schedule an appointment today at one of our pain management clinics in Myrtle Beach, Piedmont, or Spartanburg.