Ross University Blog

ALUMNI: No Practice Met All of Her Patients’ Needs—So She Started Her Own

March 06, 2017

Kimberly Jean had a vision.

The 2011 Ross graduate knew so many women whose health concerns didn’t fit neatly into just one box. Low energy, weight gain, painful periods, stress, mood changes—whatever the combination, these all-too-common symptoms were eating into their daily lives.

Yet, primary care visits for these women often yielded little but frustration. Patients struggled to articulate their stories to well-meaning but frazzled physicians, constrained by short appointment lengths. “I knew there were services that women needed but just didn’t have anywhere to go for it,” Dr. Jean said.

The solution? Start a new practice—one that wouldn’t limit women by their symptoms, or by the time it took to understand them.

Committing to Her Patients

ReVitaJuve—a linguistic blend of revitalization and rejuvenation—has been open for just six months in Allentown, Pennsylvania, but Dr. Jean’s practice has already attracted a bevy of patients. With an emphasis on women’s hormone wellness, functional medicine, and mental health, ReVitaJuve is an integrated specialty practice that caters to women with concerns ranging from anxiety to infertility.

Here in her sunny office, Dr. Jean offers her patients customized treatments and recommendations, but not before employing her most important tool—a listening ear. She starts by scheduling about 45-60 minutes for each appointment, a stark contrast to the 7-minute visits from when she worked in a conventional practice setting.

“My patient are my best source to figure out what’s wrong and which direction to go,” explained Dr. Jean. “Not only that—in order for patients to trust me, I need to get to know them. I need them to understand that I’m committed to them, and if I don’t know their story, it won’t go very far.”

By taking the time for a comprehensive patient history, Dr. Jean is able to tap into aspects of her patients’ lives that she wasn’t able to before, from their sleeping habits to their strategies for self-care. She’ll do additional testing as needed, such as hormone or neurotransmitter tests, but said often simple lifestyle changes can represent a big part of her treatment plans. It all depends on the patient’s individual situation.

“Many of my patients are leaders in their fields, whether they’re CEO of a company, or a manager at a business,” Dr. Jean said. “They’re in these high-ranking positions, where they have to take care of other people, whether it’s at work or at home. And they just forget the simple things they need to do for themselves to make sure they’re okay to take care of someone else.”

Designing Her Career

Dr. Jean’s training has prepared her well for such a multifaceted field. While she initially considered OB-GYN residency programs, she chose family medicine so that she could have the flexibility to pursue her many passions, including mental health, women’s health and holistic medicine.

In fact, her residency program at Robert Wood Johnson in Somerset, New Jersey allowed her to do just that. “RWJ offered integrated fellowship tracks within the family medicine curriculum, and I chose the reproductive health track,” said Dr. Jean. “So throughout my three years of training, I had extra clinical experience and exposure to the women’s health field, which was amazing. I was able to treat women throughout their hormonal lifespan—including family planning, hormonal therapies, ultrasounds, and some surgery.”

After residency, Dr. Jean worked for a hospital network in the Lehigh Valley area of eastern Pennsylvania, until she started a family and decided that she wanted to spend more time with her little one. That was when she realized this could be a great opportunity to set her own hours and pursue her passions—by starting her own practice.

Dr. Jean’s journey to business owner didn’t come without its challenges. She did intensive research on all the aspects of running a business, from finding office space to hiring a website designer—while caring for her new baby. All along, though, Dr. Jean had a clear vision. All she needed to do was carry out the steps to enact it into reality.

“It was tough, but I cultivated this practice in my mind,” said Dr. Jean. “The whole process has been such an exponential mental and spiritual self-growth for me.”

The Physician She Envisioned Herself to Be

Dr. Jean is a graduate of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, where she pursued a pre-med track, majoring in biology and minoring in cognitive science and psychology. She got her first introduction to Ross through a family friend who was also a Ross graduate.

“My friend spoke very highly of Ross, saying it was a very challenging program. And after graduating, she earned a great residency. That was my experience as well,” said Dr. Jean. “If you go to Ross, and you’re focused, you’ll become the physician that you envision yourself to be.”

If she had to sum up her journey thus far in one word, it would be rewarding. “What I’ve learned along the way has been priceless,” Dr. Jean said. “I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met who have mentored me, for all the professors at Ross for teaching me everything I know, for everyone in residency. The gratitude is just immense.”

Looking back, Dr. Jean said she never expected to have opened her own practice just five years after graduation.

“To see your dreams come to fruition, it feels so good,” Dr. Jean said. “It really does.”

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Tags: Pennsylvania , Residency , Family Medicine

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