In grade school, Dr. Shannon Jones learned that half of the world lacks access to essential health care. As a result, communities in poor and developing countries suffer from horrible diseases not found in the United States. This realization left a lasting impression on Shannon. From that point on, she knew she was destined to be a doctor to treat sick patients and enhance access to healthcare.
When Shannon was younger, she enjoyed reading mystery novels, not realizing it would become a staple of her career. Upon entering the field of medicine, Shannon chose to specialize in Internal Medicine, allowing her to practice across all specialty lines. Now, Dr. Jones writes her own mystery novel by helping patients find a cure for their simple or perplexing health illnesses.
Family is Everything.
Dr. Jones has four kids ranging from age 2-11. While she was pursuing her medical degree, her husband became the primary caregiver so she could focus on schooling. Dr. Jones states, “I have the most amazing, patient, and kind husband who has been the glue to our family.” Working as a locum tenens physician has allowed her the flexibility to build in family time while furthering her career. When Dr. Jones is not working, she enjoys running, reading, and cooking. She even learned how to crochet and garden!
Sharpening Her Skills.
Dr. Jones has been working as a locum tenens Internist for six years. Initially, she decided to work a locum tenens assignment to supplement her income. Quickly, she realized that practicing in different clinical settings allowed her to solidify and sharpen her skills as a physician. Dr. Jones can promptly acclimate to any institutional environment and can operate multiple EMRs because she has been exposed to how different facilities operate. She is grateful for the lasting relationships she has formed during her locum tenens assignments.
National Women Physicians Day.
It hasn’t always been an easy road as a female doctor. In medical school, Dr. Jones encountered an older male attending who was not accepting of female physicians. During rounds, she would answer questions before her male colleagues, but her attending would ignore her and wait for a male to answer. The male medical students would offer the same answer and be praised by their attending. Over the past 15 years, Dr. Jones has noticed that barriers are slowly being broken down in the healthcare landscape.
Dr. Jones stated, “we have made our mark in medicine and continue to earn respect and equality. Female physicians are still mistaken for nurses by patients but, we continue to overcome societal barriers.”
Advice to Women Physicians.
Always pursue your dreams. Medical training was one of the most challenging experiences of Dr. Jones’ life. It takes a toll both mentally and physically and can stress family relationships. Dr. Jones compared becoming a doctor to rock climbing – overcoming one challenge at a time until you reach the top. Dr. Jones said, “There is nothing like feeling the satisfaction of personal accomplishment. Hang in there because it is all worth it in the end.”
Throughout Dr. Jones’ career, she has had the opportunity to diagnose and treat various patients ranging from prison inmates to CEOs of major companies. The most rewarding part of being a physician is knowing that she helped make a difference in someone’s life. She strives to deliver compassionate care. She loves meeting the families and being able to alleviate their concerns.
Due to current COVID restrictions, it is tough for families who are unable to visit their sick loved ones in the hospital. Dr. Jones shows compassion by connecting families with their loved ones over the phone. It is times like these, a small act of kindness can go a long way in making someone feel better.
Her profession’s flexibility has presented the challenges American healthcare faces today regarding social and societal disparities and how best to influence change for the better. When her career begins to wind down, Dr. Jones would like to donate her time to underserved city clinics or jails desperate for quality care.