What is your professional background?
I am a native of Huntsville, AL. I received my undergraduate degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. I graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Psychology. I originally thought I was going to medical school to become an adolescent psychiatrist. I then attended medical school at the University of South Alabama, and completed my residency training in Internal Medicine/Pediatrics at University of Mississippi Medical Center. The following year I served as a Pediatric Chief Resident. It was in that year where I found my love of teaching and decided to stay on faculty.
Tell us about what you do at UMMC.
I spend most of my time in the ambulatory setting. I have my private clinics at the Grants Ferry location where I have a traditional Med/Peds practice as well as the Pavilion where I see only General Internal Medicine. I also supervise the Med/Peds residents and Categorical Internal Medicine residents in their continuity clinics. You can find me a couple of times out of the year attending on general internal medicine wards teaching service.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing medicine today?
I always tell my residents and students there is light at the end of the tunnel. The light maybe flickering but as long as it is still there, you’re good. Medicine is a long and demanding journey, but it is well worth it! It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling careers you can have. The beauty of medicine is it always changing and challenges you every step of the way. You never get bored…there is always something new to learn, new people to meet, and new adventures.
What do you like most about UMMC?
The people! I absolutely love my colleagues and ancillary staff. They are truly a work family and huge reason I decided to stay on as faculty. I feel supported inside and outside of the clinic. They not only care about me as a doctor, but they care about me as a mom, a wife, a daughter, etc. I don’t think I would receive this type of genuine care and concern anywhere else. They also go above and beyond for our patients and their families.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.
This is a tough one. I am a talker so I feel anyone who has met me knows a lot about me. Lol! Growing up in Huntsville, AL made NASA and space a big part of my life. We are the home of Space Camp. I grew up with a true love for astronomy. There was a point in time I considered astronomy as a career. I could tell you any constellation in the sky, locations of most planets, and what time of the year they were most visible. One of my favorite gifts from childhood was my telescope. Unfortunately, I no longer own a telescope. However, now that I have kids I have a good excuse to buy them one and revisit my old love of space.
What advice do you have for balancing work and family?
I am still learning the balance. I have two boys, ages five and three, and a seventeen-month old baby girl. My children are such a blessing and have taught me so much. Most of us that go into medicine are Type A personality. We have to have a plan with steps one, two, and three. All steps have to go in that exact order. When you have kids, you have to learn to go with the flow and not sweat the small stuff! You have to be flexible and willing to adapt. So maybe step three happened first and that’s okay. I have also learned that it is okay to ask for help and accept help. The work and family balance is not a one man or one woman show. This was a hard one for me. I have always been very independent and wanted to do things on my own. That is not sustainable in the long run. As a result, I have learned to ask for and accept help at home and work. My husband would tell you I am still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. Lastly, don’t forget yourself. To be a good mom, spouse, and physician you have to dedicate some time for yourself. We all need some rest and relaxation. Find what brings you joy and do it.
Jasmine, I’m so impressed that you love astronomy! Now you have to teach us all the constellations! I can’t wait 🙂