Spotlight On: Jessica DeLuise '10
May 1, 2023
When did you graduate from Drexel?
What drew you to the PA profession and Drexel’s program, specifically?
I was introduced to the PA profession as a patient myself when I was 16 years old. At the time, I was applying to college and discovering new possibilities for study, majors and career paths. I had decided that something in health sciences was right for me, but had not yet decided on what. I began to have syncopal episodes and was ultimately diagnosed with PCOS, secondary amenorrhea and complex migraines/partial seizures. Along my journey, the OBGYN practitioner I saw was a PA. She was lovely. She shared more about the profession. I began to volunteer at my local hospital in high school and in college to learn more about and from PAs, and that helped the decision.
I decided on Drexel specifically because one of my student colleagues at Siena College went there the year prior and spoke very highly of the program. Another contributing factor was Drexel’s stellar reputation and very high first time PANCE pass rate.
Was there a faculty member that inspired you during school?
I remember all of my faculty members fondly! I vividly recall engaging lectures from Daniella and Julie, learning to trust the process and other life lessons from my advisor, Pepe, entrepreneurship from Bob Young and leadership from Dr. Pat Auth.
After graduation, where did you practice?
My first job was in the Department of Medicine at Methodist Hospital of Jefferson University. I went on to work in perioperative surgery for the Rothman Shoulder Elbow Team and now as a PA and marketing and business development manager at AFC Urgent Care.
I maintain a certificate as a certified culinary medicine specialist and recently completed the PA Foundation Nutrition Outreach Fellowship. I use this education both inside and outside my clinical practice.
Outside the clinic, I work as a TV host, contribute to broadcast media and share information and education on social media. You can find me at @thewellnesskitchenista and more at TheWellnessKitchenista.com.
In 2021, I won an Emmy award for producing and hosting a lifestyle and cooking show, EAT YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS, which aired on PHL17. It now streams on TubiTV.
In your first year out of school, what was the most important lesson you learned?
It takes a a few months to get settled into a job. Whenever you start something new, it’s overwhelming. There are nuances to become familiar with, and your team is learning about you just as much as you’re learning about them. Have patience, listen and observe, study and read. It takes time to find your groove as a PA within the practice. This is especially important to remember as a new practitioner, when you’re learning about yourself as a medical provider and colleague. You’ll find your style and rhythm soon enough!
How can PA professionals improve health equity?
Every patient should have access and opportunity to feel cared for, empowered and educated. In my practice, it often means opening up dialogue to discuss barriers for care (budget for medication or nutrition, transportation to specialists, cultural influence and any number of social determinants). By creating an environment in which patients feel safe to share, we can ‘meet them where they are’ when creating plans of care.
Additionally, as stewards of the PA profession, I believe it is important to seek out opportunities to provide education or volunteer in communities or with groups that have less access to care or nutritious foods for any number of reasons.
Describe a day in your clinical practice.
Totally unpredictable. That’s the only guarantee!
For a student about to graduate, what strategies would you share about how to stay present and avoid burnout?
Quite bluntly, the health care field is tough. At some points, you’ll be pushed to your emotional and physical limits. Just imagine if there was an international pandemic and the stress it would cause on the totality of the health care system (wink).
But, it is also rewarding, academic, interesting and ever-growing. It is important to start your career with eyes wide open. Remember to prioritize your mental health, rest, nourishment and to add in hobbies or people that fill your life outside your practice with joy.