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Jessica Bienstock, M.D., M.P.H.

 Jessica Bienstock Jessica Bienstock - At Johns Hopkins since 1994

Professor
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

Why did you decide to join Johns Hopkins Medicine?

Johns Hopkins had everything I was looking for as a trainee. Hopkins offered a plethora of interesting patients, outstanding educational opportunities and an opportunity to serve a population that was very much in need of excellent physicians. I remember being in awe of the physicians I met when I first came to Johns Hopkins. They were so confident in the care they provided. They not only read the primary literature, they wrote it. That was the kind of doctor I wanted to be.

Why have you decided to stay at Johns Hopkins Medicine?

Being a Johns Hopkins physician allows me to have the best of all possible worlds. I get to provide excellent patient care alongside world-class colleagues, all of whom are remarkably collegial. I am able to think about the “big picture” — where medical education should go — and then help lead our journey to that future. Hopkins takes good physicians and, by putting us within excellent teams, allows us to accomplish great things. We push the boundaries of medicine and improve the health of the patients we care for ourselves and that of the patients our learners will care for in the future.

Remember that the distance between you and someone who is in leadership always looks longer when you are “looking up” than it does to the leader with whom you are talking.

Please tell us about how you reached your leadership position.

I first found a love of leadership when I was an administrative chief resident. I really liked looking at “big picture” solutions that could reach across silos and solve problems for many different stakeholders. Early in my career I became the Ob/Gyn medical student clerkship director because I really enjoyed teaching. Residency program director was the next logical step in education leadership. I also really enjoy looking at challenges on an institutional and national level. Many programs and institutions have the same issues, and helping others improve their own programs is very gratifying.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of at Johns Hopkins Medicine?

When I came to Johns Hopkins I never imagined that I would become an education leader here and nationally. I am very proud of the excellent residency programs we have built and continue to improve. I am excited that our training programs produce great physicians who truly do become leaders in their fields. I am also proud of the national recognition our program directors and faculty have gained as leaders in education in their specialties and at the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (our accrediting body).

What advice would you give a woman who is aspiring to grow in her leadership responsibilities?

Sit at the table! You may think you are junior and don’t belong with “the big boys,” but you do. People at Johns Hopkins are very welcoming. They want to hear your voice and learn from your ideas. Remember that the distance between you and someone who is in leadership always looks longer when you are “looking up” than it does to the leader with whom you are talking. Also, if you can write about and publish the innovative things you are doing, you should. This will disseminate your ideas and help get you promoted.

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