Trusting that I have the will to do the work and if I work hard enough, I will achieve my highest potential
Who is Dr. Jessica Briscoe?
How did you choose to pursue this field?
What do you love most about your job?
I LOVE procedures! It is such a satisfying feeling to stop a life-threatening bleed or diagnose or remove malignant lesions of the colon before they are able to metastasize and become untreatable. I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity and skill to do this work.
What things would you change about your current job?
What are the most difficult things about working in your field?
I think Medical training is such a high-pressure competitive environment, the weight of the responsibility can be daunting. We need to know and do so many things all at once, it can be very overwhelming and stressful at times. This is also compounded by the lack of diversity and the lingering feeling of always having to prove why I deserve to be where I am. I personally always felt I had to perform above and beyond the regular “high standard,” to be noted as exceptional; the added pressure can feel so burdensome.
What are your future goals related to your career?
My overall goal for my career is to become a fellowship program director. There a very few female physicians in leadership positions in GI sections across the country. If I want to see the field change and become more diverse, I need to be in the position to make changes that impact the next generation of Doctors.
What tips would you offer to anyone thinking about entering into your profession/field of study?
Do your best to attend a solid residency program, often your acceptance in GI fellowship depends on where you trained. Find a mentor in GI that supports you, and can advise you on the intricacies of obtaining a fellowship position. GI is one of the most competitive subspecialties in medicine, establishing a good relationship with your Internal Medicine program leadership will be invaluable as they will be writing some of your letters of recommendation and advocating for you to obtain interviews. In addition to mentorship, forming a tribe of strong, motivated women that understand and support you is imperative. I am so thankful for my family and my tribe! The journey of medical training is a marathon, you need to surround yourself with people who can help, encourage, and push you to achieve your best. I am in multiple group chats where we speak on everything from pop culture and hair to discussing ideas for an IRB. You need this!
How have you combated the stigma of being a “woman of color” in STEM?
What advice would you give your younger self about your career journey as a “woman of color” working in a predominantly white, male-dominated field?
Be confident. You know more than you think you know. What you don’t know, most of the people in the room don’t either, so ASK QUESTIONS. Be confident in your ability, and don’t be so easily swayed by others perspectives or opinions. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. You are here for a reason and people see that.
My Family Influence
I have the most wonderful, amazing, supportive husband of 5 years. I am first generation American, both of my parents were born and raised in Jamaica. I have a large, loving, supportive, Godly family. My husband and in-laws are also from Jamaica, so we have very strong roots!
We hope you enjoyed learning about our latest “STEMsation”, please comment about how her experiences have inspired you, how your experiences can inspire others and nominate our next “STEMsation to spotlight their amazing accomplishments.