August 2022 Member of the Month
Member of the Month: Jessica Glick, DO
FMLE participant passionate about building meaningful relationships with patients
By Samantha White
After completing a rural rotation and being encouraged by her family medicine preceptor, Jessica Glick, DO, settled into the life of a family physician in The Woodlands. Making meaningful connections with her patients is key to her career enjoyment, and she is passionate about preventive, sleep, and obesity medicine. Glick is currently a participant in TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience and will graduate from the program this fall.
Can you briefly describe your career path?
My path to medicine was non-traditional. After graduating with a degree in biology and environmental studies, I became a research associate at UT Southwestern. I built a deep respect for basic science research, but I desired more of a connection with the patients who inspired my research. Through shadowing opportunities, I experienced those interactions firsthand, and chose to pursue a career in medicine.
When applying to medical school, I had a feeling that primary care was my calling. At the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, I felt drawn to serve rural communities in Texas. I was accepted into the Rural Osteopathic Medical Education (ROME) program which places medical students in rural core rotations during their third and fourth year. I traveled throughout Texas and developed a deep love and appreciation for the rural communities that make Texas unique. It amazed me how one doctor could treat generations of the same family and have deeply rooted and unique patient-centered relationships with each one of them. The variety and complexity of disease processes encountered within a day of clinic also intrigued me. With these experiences, my decision to pursue family medicine was solidified.
I completed residency at the Conroe Family Medicine Residency program, which prepared me to practice full-scope family medicine confidently. After graduation I was able to help establish and launch a new office for a private practice family medicine clinic in Magnolia, Texas. It was a rewarding experience to build my practice from the ground up and I learned many important lessons along the way. Currently, I am employed by Memorial Hermann Medical Group in The Woodlands. I am committed to engaging in the organization’s continued growth and now serve as part of a task force that is helping the primary care group accelerate its shift toward value-based care.
Who or what inspired you to become a family physician?
My family medicine preceptor, Dr. Rebecca Daley was a key player in my decision to become a family physician. She embodied a kind-hearted, authentic, intelligent, and empathetic physician who cared deeply for her patients while also supporting her family and local community. She also practiced osteopathic manipulation and showed me how to successfully integrate it into any practice. I spent time living with her family in Fredericksburg where I witnessed her positive influence on her patients’ health, her dedication to community service with Rotary Club, and her unconditional love for her three children and husband. She was able to balance these commitments with a sense of pride and confidence that continues to inspire me.
What are your practice passions?
I have many practice passions, but my top three include preventive medicine, obesity medicine, and sleep medicine.
Practicing preventive medicine is at the core of my patient interactions. I enjoy creating opportunities to counsel patients on ways they can prevent chronic disease development and progression through lifestyle changes, behavioral modifications, physical activity, immunization schedules, and staying up to date with their preventive health visits.
As a diplomate of the American Board of Obesity Medicine, I have more tools to treat patients with the complex diagnosis of obesity. Being able to confidently address the needs of my patients with this diagnosis, understand their disease process, and provide customized treatment plans has helped me play an active role in combating the obesity epidemic.
After witnessing the positive impact that treating sleep apnea had on my father’s health, I became passionate about bolstering my knowledge of sleep medicine and screening my patients for underlying sleep conditions. I am passionate about counseling my patients on sleep hygiene, screening them for sleep apnea/sleep disordered breathing, and helping them navigate the next steps toward improving their sleep quality.
What brings you joy in your work?
I enjoy being able to make meaningful connections with my patients, colleagues, and staff. I love learning about what makes people unique, what motivates them, and what brings them a sense of purpose. I am humbled when patients refer their family and friends to establish care with me. This brings deep value and satisfaction to my practice and reminds me why I chose my specialty. I relish in the moments that I can provide personalized care and a listening ear to the patient in front of me – whether it means empathizing with a new mom about parenthood, scrolling through pictures with my patient as she recounts her trip to Tanzania, or taking time to pause in silence while hugging a patient who recently lost his wife to cancer.
Why do you choose to be a TAFP member?
TAFP has been supportive of me since I was a medical student. I was the recipient of TAFP’s Arnold Krause M.D. Medical Student Scholarship and South Texas Chapter Medical Student Scholarship which were priceless in funding my medical education.
Through my early exposure to the organization and its generosity in fostering future family physicians, I knew I wanted to continue serving as a member and contribute to the organization. TAFP provides a variety of programming for medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, all of which have been instrumental in my growth as a physician. The mentorship, comradery, and community provided by TAFP makes the choice of being a TAFP member one of the easiest to make.
What led you to apply for TAFP’s Family Medicine Leadership Experience?
A friend and colleague of mine, Dr. Lane Aiena, was completing the FMLE program two years ago and encouraged me to apply. He explained to me how the sessions provided participants with the tools they need to be leaders in their practices, communities, and in change-making organizations. At the time, I wasn’t sure that it was a program for someone like me who did not have a clear vision of what they wanted to do right out of residency. However, two years later, I found myself in situations where I needed to develop the skills to be an advocate for myself in the workplace, serve as a leader to my staff, and become more involved in organized medicine to better advocate for my profession on a local, state, and national level.
I also saw a need for TAFP to have more of a local presence in Montgomery County because the medical community in this area is growing rapidly and creating competitive job opportunities. We have a new medical school in Conroe (Sam Houston State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine) and a strong family medicine residency program (Conroe Family Medicine Residency) whose graduates often stay in the area. With the skills I am gaining from FMLE, I am committed to reinstating the Northwoods Chapter of the TAFP which has been inactive for the past several years. Now is the perfect time to build up our community of family physicians and provide support that is customized to our local needs. If any readers are interested in helping with this initiative, I would love to hear from you!
What do you enjoy doing outside of medicine?
Outside of medicine, I love spending time with my family. I have a loving husband, a passionate 3-year-old daughter, and an energetic 1-year-old son who are constant reminders of how precious every moment in life is and how they should always be savored. We enjoy spending time outdoors at the local parks, playgrounds, and pools in our neighborhood. I particularly love doing crafts and baking projects with my kids at home. Photography and documenting memories are other passions of mine. I was historian of my medical school class and have been known to request group photos at the end of FMLE sessions!
What has surprised you most about family medicine?
Family medicine is full of surprises, which is what keeps it fun, challenging, and ever evolving. What has surprised me most about family medicine is how many facets it has and how versatile it is. I continue to be amazed at what my family medicine colleagues can do in practice to meet the changing needs of our patients. Family physicians are also using their clinical experiences to become prominent figures outside the realm of clinical practice by taking on leadership positions in large health care organizations, working for insurance companies, running for public office, being social media influencers, serving as EHR informaticists, becoming certified life coaches, and pursuing entrepreneurship in innovative fields to utilize technology advancements to transform our daily practice. It’s an exciting time to be a family physician to say the least and I look forward to more surprises along the way.
TAFP’s Member of the Month program highlights Texas family physicians in TAFP News Now and on the TAFP website. We feature a biography and a Q&A with a different TAFP member each month and his or her unique approach to family medicine. If you know an outstanding family physician colleague who you think should be featured as a Member of the Month or if you’d like to tell your own story, nominate yourself or your colleague by contacting TAFP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (512) 329-8666. View past Members of the Month here.