Southern Plastic Surgery Intern Spotlight: Meet Jakai’

It has been a while since we’ve had an intern at our Southern Plastic Surgery (SPS) office but today we are thrilled to share with you the latest SPS plastic surgery intern rock star – Jakai’!  Jakai’ is a 4th year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus and has been a great addition to the SPS family.  She’s got a genuinely caring personality and an infectious laugh, but what we admire most about Jakai’ has been her ability to connect with many of our patients over the past month.  We had Jakai share some of her experiences with us and here’s what she had to say:

What made you choose a career in medicine? My parents have always instilled in me the understanding that I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.  Growing up, my pediatrician was a young, black female.  I can remember becoming instantly fascinated with her and her job, and she eventually became my idea of what a doctor looks like.  In a field that I now know to be dominated by my male counterparts, I’ve always felt that there was a place for me.  My pediatrician was my role model until I turned 20 (yes, I had trouble leaving the pediatric nest).  Thankfully my love for science and reading followed our initial introduction and my parents, teachers, and other loved ones helped to cultivate what soon became a love for medicine.  So I guess you can say that I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.  It also helped that I somehow successfully made it through the pre-med coursework at Vanderbilt University, because honestly, things could have easily gone south.

What’s your favorite memory? I have two favorite memories.  My first was being told that one of our post-operative patients came in for their follow-up and asked to see me before leaving.  It felt good knowing that I had built up enough of a rapport that the patient felt comfortable coming to me with questions and accepting my medical advice.  My second was all of the events leading up to being given the nickname “little sister”.  I won’t get into that story, but there is never a dull moment with Dr. Whiteman and his team!

What skills have you learned that you think will be most valuable in your medical field?

  • Listening; all patients come in with a plastic surgery goal and it is the job of the physician to understand what it is and guide the patient towards reaching that goal.
  • Slow and steady doesn’t always win the race; time is precious when in the OR and though I always freak out when Dr. Whiteman tells me to move faster, his surgery tips have come in handy and I am slowly, yet steadily increasing my suturing and note writing speed.

What’s been the greatest lesson you’ve learned during your internship? To trust myself – whether it is knowing the answer to one of Dr. Whiteman’s questions or anticipating where my hands need to be in the surgical field, I know more than I think I do and there is little to no time for hesitation.

What’s the best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman? The best thing about interning with Dr. Whiteman is the autonomy that he and his staff expect and allow.  Learning to be “THE doctor” is one of the greatest struggles I’m sure I will encounter after graduating and beginning residency.  This month has been a small taste of what I can begin to expect.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself fresh out of my neurology residency program and hopefully on a much-needed vacation!

Hobbies: Reading, traveling, watching football and my weekly television shows.

Favorite movie: The Breakfast Club.

Favorite weekend activity in Atlanta: Brunch

Do you have a personal motto?  I don’t know if I would consider this a motto, more of a note to self: “Keep trying, keep praying, stay positive, be Awesome: become better!”

We’re going to miss having Jakai’ around the office but we have no doubt that she is going to go on to do great things in the medical field because she’s got the drive and determination needed to excel.   Hopefully you all enjoy getting to know our interns as much as we have these past several months, so be sure to catch the latest on our intern feature stories on our blog in the upcoming weeks!