By Jennifer S. Johnson, DO, MBA; Member, ACOFP Women in Leadership Committee
Trying to describe a “typical day” in my life is nearly impossible, as I’m sure it would be for most of you. In trying to come up with what my routine looks like, I realized that the variety that is my life is also why I love family medicine. I get to do all the things—some of which I love and some of which I get through because they are necessary evils (charting, I’m looking at you).
I completed my dually accredited family medicine residency in 2008 and began working for Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, Minnesota that same year. I am AOBFP board certified, and in 2020 became board certified in obesity medicine as well. I earned my Master of Business Administration as part of a dual degree program while in medical school. I am married and have kids ranging in age from 6 to 28. We also got a “pandemic puppy”–a yellow lab who is now 1-year-old with a ton of energy.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are my clinic days. I still see all ages and do prenatal care—although not deliveries anymore—and a variety of procedures. Some weeks I’m on nursery service, so I start my morning there, which also allows me the joy of teaching residents. I still love the variety of family medicine and am not ready to give that up. Like many of you, due to COVID-19, we have also asked to resurrect old skills, so I will be adding nursing home rounds back into my routine with the new year. No two days are ever the same.
Tuesday and Thursday are my administrative days. If my meeting schedule allows, I take my son to school. I love the chance to talk with him and see him with his friends. With COVID-19, most of my meetings are on Zoom, so I get to work from home those days, which means I sometimes get lunch with my hubby since he’s working from home too. My administrative roles currently include regional chair of medical staff quality, regional chair of primary care quality and chair of personnel for physicians. Each of these roles keep me busy and each is different.
For medical staff quality, I get involved in peer reviews and regular reviews of data/quality for all of our providers. As the primary care quality chair, I partner with my fellow primary care physicians and advanced practice providers on ambulatory quality metrics. I love when they transition mentally from checking boxes, to realizing the impact they are having on patients. I also get to analyze data and look for best practices, as well as gaps, and go through process improvement. Additionally, I work on nurse protocols to help ease the burden on our providers. Personnel chair is probably my most varied role, as our group does everything from approving all new hires to policy review and disciplinary action. I like to think my family medicine background helps me balance empathy with the ability to have tough conversations.
Outside of work, I serve on the board of the Minnesota Osteopathic Medical Society, as well as on the CME committee. I’m also on two ACOFP committees this year and am enjoying learning from them; it has been a good way to serve my fellow osteopathic physicians and stretch myself out of my comfort zone. In addition, I serve as a state delegate to the AOA House of Delegates, which is an amazing experience every year.
Evenings are most often spent with family. My 6-year-old son is the only one still at home. My next oldest is off at college, so we mainly see her during breaks and through FaceTime. My older two are on their own, with the oldest married this past fall. I am the den leader for my son’s Cub Scout group, and I coach his soccer team in the spring, summer and fall. I love to cook for/with my family on evenings and weekends.
In all this chaos, my favorite part of every day is putting my son to bed. It’s our time for me to be with him and hear about his day and anything else he wants to share. The days are long, but the years are short.