Jennifer Gima, MD
Well, I was born and raised in Honolulu, HI. I went to the same school from k-12, the same school that Obama graduated from! It's greatest significance though, is that I met my husband there. Way more important than the leader of the free world. Then I went all the way to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN for undergrad. I went there because I wanted the resources of a large university and the feeling of a small liberal arts college. I also wanted to major in Neuroscience and have access to a world class teaching hospital since I didn't know what I wanted to be yet when I grew up. I loved it there. I loved everything about it. Except, ironically, country music! It's ironic because I listen to a lot of country music now. I can't believe how much I missed out on! Then it was the long road to medical school. First I returned home and got a Master's in Medical Physiology. I did my thesis in neuro-HIV/AIDS. Then I taught for 2 years at a local community college for their Nursing and EMT schools. After four years of trying science and teaching, I finally ended up on my way to becoming a Physician! I loved a lot of things about medical school and in 3rd year I actually loved the OR and acuity of the inpatient world the most! So this may be a shocker, but I ended up in General Surgery. That's not a typo. I did two years. Some good experiences, but also some bad. It didn't end up being what I wanted for myself and my future. It wasn't what I envisioned being a doctor would be like. After a lot of soul searching, turns out, Family Medicine is where I belong! A lot of people come to VCMC to train to go do amazing things internationally or rurally for people who have no access to health care. They come here with dreams to help the underserved, build hospitals, or even residency programs! I am not one of these people. My dream is to do full spectrum family medicine and just be utterly fulfilled every day by the relationships I cultivate with my patients. It would break my heart to have to refer a patient I care for because I went to a program that didn't train me adequately or if I missed something because I wasn't exposed to it in residency. I switched into Family Medicine for the continuity. The core tenant of what Family Medicine is. What sets it apart from all other specialties. And I'm loving it! I call Ventura a small sleepy town because I'm used to 40 story high rises and restaurants open 24 hours a day. You can train where you want to live, like I could have chosen to train in a city where my life style would be more of what I am accustomed to, or you can train at the best possible program so your future patients will get the best care available bar none, and just drive to LA on your days off for food. I love to shop, read books, lay in the sun, watch movies, travel, and listen to music. I hate bugs. I'm pretty obsessed with Superman and the DCEU. I eat a lot of chocolate. I keep cookies in every bag I own. I prefer spin over yoga. I don't drink caffeine if I'm working. But the thing I love doing the most is sitting around with good people and having good conversation. Lucky for me that the best training attracts the absolute best people.