From Competitive Figure Skater to Saving Lives
Meet Dr. Jasmine Mitchell, MD out of Galveston, TX who was inspired by her faith and her own personal injuries to become a Family Practice Physician and specialize in sports medicine and cure her patient's pain.
What made you decide to become a doctor?
Because I was an athlete, I was always injured, and from my numerous accounts seeing medical professionals whether it be an NP or a Physician made me realize at a young age I wanted to do that too. They would always teach me about XRAYs and MRIs when I expressed an interest. The more I learned about medicine, the more I knew that was the path for me. I have a fun bubbly personality, so being able to talk to patients every day and diagnosis different diseases and treat people with procedures I would learn seemed like the best kind of job for me to do for the rest of my life. Seeing how happy the patient is when you've fixed them is the highlight of every day.
What is your area of expertise?
I went into family medicine, and currently in residency training to ultimately specialize in sports medicine and other outpatient pain-relieving procedures in addition to being mostly outpatient procedural based to benefit the needs of my patients. I really like family medicine because you get to work with a patient population of all ages, and you get to cater to your future practice based on what you enjoy doing the most, which for me is outpatient procedures.
What do you enjoy most about being a doctor?
I really enjoy the patient-physician interaction and relationship. Every day it is something new, and sometimes it is challenging, but being able to save someone's life or remove their chronic pain with a procedure is amazing. Being responsible for someone's health is a huge responsibility but also an honor because they trust you. I'm also a big advocate in patient education and including the patient in the decision-making process in regards to treatment options. Every patient is different. For example, some patients with knee osteoarthritis prefer topical/oral medication or joint injections or knee replacement. I always ask the patient what their preference is based on their pain level to the desired treatment plan. It's always important to respect a patient's opinion while educating them on their health issues and treatment options. I've noticed patients really appreciate it when you take the time to understand them, their culture, and their personal opinion. Ultimately, I love doing outpatient procedures and providing the best care I can possibly give.
Who inspires you the most?
Growing up, my parents always supported me in my dreams of being a doctor. Because I was a figure skater who competed nationally, I was always injured a lot and wanted to be a doctor like those who helped me during my competing years. I was also inspired by the bio book about George Washington Carver, a prominent scientist who used his knowledge to help so many people. As a young kid, I thought that I could do that as a doctor, just like him. I won't lie that I also was a huge fan of the show HOUSE, and now that I am a doctor, I realize how different life is as a doctor compared to that show.
5. How do you deal with adversity?
As a Christian, my mom would also tell me this "You can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens you"... and she was right. I faced many adversities and struggles on my path to becoming a physician. Despite being a good student, I was told a few times that I was not good enough, and that would always hurt. I never gave up. I was accepted to medical school on my first try, and I successfully graduated from medical school with building relationships with attendings would want to work with me in private practice, which is a big honor. I didn't go into medical school with the advantage's other students had, but I had my parents who raised me that hard work and perseverance would trump all. I'll be honest and admit I had to study much harder than others regarding standardized exams because they were not my strengths, but when it came to interactions with patients and clinical skills... that's where I was able to shine. I always tell medical students that a standardized test does not decide how good of a physician you are, and you simply have to put in that extra work to pass the exams. Lastly, if someone ever tells you that you cannot do something, avoid them, and believe in yourself to succeed in your dreams and goals.
6. What's your favorite way to give back?
I really enjoy inspiring young kids to go into the field of medicine, even if they assume it is too challenging for them before trying. Many times, I was told I wasn't good enough and I'll never make it, but my parents stood by me and ultimately my hard work and endless studying paid off. I didn't come from a family of doctors and I faced a lot of challenges and obstacles, but having people believe in me made a huge difference.
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