When I was a college student, I started working as an EMT in Los Angeles in order to see if the medical field was really the career path for me. Ultimately, I spent seven years working on an ambulance, responding to 911 calls. I gained a lot of experience with emergency medicine, from dealing with car accidents and gunshot wounds to providing diabetic care and administering medications. Those experiences prompted me to become a PA, and they also taught me valuable lessons, like how lack of access to primary care has an enormous impact on people living in low-income communities.
During sophomore year of college, my best friend was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. Sometimes I would sit with her in the outpatient infusion center while she was getting chemotherapy. One day, she spontaneously burst into tears, and the nurse came over and said, “It’s okay to cry — you’re allowed to be sad. This sucks.” My friend laughed a little; I think she felt relieved that, at least in that moment, she didn’t have to put on a brave face. Now that I’m a PA, I’ve said the same thing many times to my own patients. I think it’s really important to be real with people, show compassion and give them permission to feel whatever it is they are feeling.
I am a board-certified physician assistant who specializes in using blood and bone marrow transplantation (BMT) to treat patients with blood cancers. My expertise includes working with patients who receive immunotherapy — treatment that harnesses the immune system to fight cancer — and providing long-term follow-up care. I work closely with physicians and nursing staff to coordinate your care, manage symptoms and side effects, offer guidance about nutrition and ensure you have what you need throughout the treatment process.
University of California, Los Angeles
Oregon Health and Science University
Seattle Met's 2023 Top Doctors award
Jessica has received this peer-nominated award for exceptional patient care.
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