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Featured Alumna: Jennifer Lee ’16

In her own words: After graduating from Monmouth , I pursued an MS in Physician Assistant Studies at Thomas Jefferson University. Prior to applying to graduate school, I worked as a medical assistant in a cardiology clinic that saw approximately 500 patients daily for around 2 years. During this time, I gained valuable hands-on patient care experience and deepened my exposure to medicine. I was fortunate to be the first medical assistant onboarded into a cardio-oncology program within the same company, allowing me to work closely with patients and their cardiovascular and oncology treatments.

I began my journey as a Physician Assistant at a COVID testing center in Princeton, NJ, where I served as the sole provider overseeing 3-4 medical assistants. At the peak of testing, we were handling an average of 120-140 patients daily. Later, I transitioned to my first full-time position in a specialized vascular and facial palsy surgical office. Here, I pursued my interest in becoming a surgical Physician Assistant, working in collaboration with Lenox Hill Hospital and Manhattan Ear Eye Nose Throat Hospital in New York City. As the sole advanced practice provider in the office, I had the opportunity to gain extensive hands-on skills and exposure that exceeded my expectations. This included 1st and 2nd assisting in surgeries, post-op discharges and follow-ups, international telemedicine consultations, in-office laser procedures, and administering Botox injections. Approximately a year later, I took a position in an urgent care setting, where I continue to work today, seeing an average of 40-70 patients as the sole provider at the office. During my career as a PA, I explored other avenues, including working as a sub-clinical investigator. This experience was incredibly insightful, allowing me to work with an extremely knowledgeable dermatologist and clinical investigators in a different area of medicine.

Currently, I have successfully completed an intensive 24-week full-stack software engineering program in preparation for a career as a software engineer/software developer. I made this decision after recognizing the integration of technology into our healthcare system and observing the vital role played by software and programs such as Electronic Medical Records/Electronic Health Records (EMR/EHR) in providing and tracking care. I felt there was significant room for improvement, sparking my interest in creating change and making an impact in this field. Balancing a full-time school schedule while juggling two part-time jobs as a physician assistant was challenging, but having completed my program successfully, I now have a stronger sense of drive and motivation. My plan is to apply my software engineering degree to the emerging healthcare/tech field!

My experience and education at Monmouth University have prepared me for continuous education and exploration of my curiosity. During my time at Monmouth, I actively participated in various clubs and activities, including serving as a peer mentor for both the honors school and the school of science. This allowed me to strengthen my ability to guide and teach aspiring students by sharing my knowledge and experience. Additionally, my three years as a research assistant instilled in me the determination to persevere, even when research did not go as expected, and helped me become more comfortable with public speaking through symposiums and presentations to colleagues, professors, and industry professionals in the field of science. Monmouth University provided me with numerous opportunities to express myself and push my boundaries, which I will continue to leverage in my future careers and endeavors.

When I’m not working in the clinic or coding, I enjoy challenging myself with various activities such as running, hiking, and snowboarding. Whenever the weather is good, you will definitely find me outdoors. On days when I prefer to stay in, I enjoy cozying up inside with a good book or spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking.