Dr. Jiggetts participated in SMDEP at the University of Virginia School of Medicine in 2008. She completed her undergraduate studies from Stony Brook University. Dr. Jiggetts went on to attend SUNY Downstate College of Medicine and completed her residency in OB/GYN at Stony Brook University Hospital in 2020.

What obstacles did you overcome in your educational or career journey?
I am a first-generation college student. I came from a high school that was known for its low graduation rate and high failure rate. Despite that, I attended college with the idea that I wanted to become a doctor. I was shocked when I got to college and realized that I was not prepared for the rigors of college-level work. I was behind in certain topics and I received the lowest grades I had ever gotten. I started to have serious doubts about achieving my goal. I was told about the SMDEP program (now SHPEP) and applied. I didn’t think I would get in given my grades at the time, but I was determined. I entered my application the second the application process opened, and I got in. I do not think that I would be an OB/GYN today if it wasn’t for the program. I wrote my medical school personal statement there with the help of the faculty. I learned so much about the application process and study skills which I took back to college. I implemented the skills I learned, and my grades completely changed. I think the most powerful thing I gained from the program was the confidence to pursue my goal and I cannot thank the program enough for that!

If you had the opportunity to talk to a health professional student, what would you tell him/her?
Shoot for the stars and dream big! If your current circumstances don’t match your dreams (meaning you don’t have the grades, finances, knowledge, experience, etc. to pursue it) don’t let that discourage you. You need help on your journey. There are several people who have had obstacles similar to yours and have accomplished exactly what you want to do. You have to find these people and come up with a game plan. Programs like SMDEP (now SHPEP) can help you do that.

Posted: January 2021