Introducing Dr. J
As some of our patients may know, when you sign up and finish a consult, you get a response from our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Mary Jacobson or someone on her medical team. She’s behind the scenes guiding Alpha’s patient care and she is passionate about getting every woman the level and quality of care she needs. Dr. J, as we all call her, is not just about getting you your birth control or prescription skincare. She’s about figuring out why you’re having the symptoms you’re having, what other medications or treatments you might need, and figuring out how to make sure that all of your healthcare needs are covered.
The work she does with Alpha is meaningful, and necessary, but how she got here is an interesting story in and of itself. We think Alpha women should know who, exactly, is in charge of their care and what drives them, so read on to find out more about Dr. J.
Dr. J, you have an interesting medical background. Could you start by telling us a little bit about it?
Sure, I’m a physician, a surgeon, and an educator. I started out on Wall Street — if you’d believe it — and transitioned to becoming an OBGYN. I ended up hurting my back, then decided to get a business degree, and pivoted into medical administration. I started by studying medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and then completed my residency at Stanford University School of Medicine.
Then, what made you go get your medical degree and start practicing?
Well, a couple of things. For one, I’m strongly influenced by my mother. She was a civil rights activist in Newark, NJ in the 60’s and she used to bring my 2 youngest sisters and me with her to all of these protests and events. Needless to say, I became aware of inequalities and disparities at a very young age.
Then, though my first career was in the mutual fund industry, I was living in San Francisco and volunteering with Project Open Hand. Working with people who had AIDS back at that time was really profound and life-changing. And I found it fulfilling. I left the mutual fund industry to become a doctor.
So, I know you were retired from clinical care, what made you come out of retirement to join the Alpha team?
Well, as a doctor who really cares about their patients, you spend a lot of time thinking about all of the different cases on your hands. Some people could have been helped if they’d just received care earlier, others just didn’t have the access at all.
With Alpha, I saw an opportunity to really fill in all of the gaps that I’ve observed in medicine over the years. People might not believe it, but us doctors really do care and want to change or better a great many things. Alpha is giving me that opportunity, so I’m on-board and figuring out how to make this operation really be a smooth, safe, and comprehensive experience for our patients.
My vision with Alpha is that, it’s not just telemedicine. It’s medicine — we’re just using the new technologies we have at our disposal to fix some of medicine’s long standing problems.
You say that doctors care and want to change things, can you tell me a little more about what you’re alluding to?
There are just so many things. Women’s reproductive health is continually being threatened by the erosion of Title X, and women’s health issues are unfairly getting sandwiched into politics — a situation where no one really wins.
Then, there’s also just the inconvenience of healthcare access in this country. If you live in certain parts of Texas, the nearest doctor could be more than 200 miles away. No one is driving that distance when they’re in pain — imagine if they can’t afford it!
Alpha brings healthcare to the people. With that, there’s the aspect of making things available through the computer, making shipping free, keeping costs low, but there’s also this paradigm switch. Now you have patients coming to see the doctor when they are ready, when they are expecting healthcare, and they’re getting it promptly.
So these are just starts, but I’m definitely keeping my eye on big goals.
Haha, you say big goals. Well, is there anything else you want to tell our readers and patients?
Well, I’m sure that any of the patients that have interacted with me know, but I see myself as a servant leader — which basically means I’m here for the people. I’m a servant because I want to serve them and make sure they get the best quality care. But, I’m also a leader because I have all of these years of experience in the medical field. I’m applying that to my role here so that we can really forge a path ahead to a future of accessible, safe, and convenient healthcare for all women.
One of the ways I’ll be doing that is by writing informative articles for anyone who lands on the website. Education is really a huge part of healthcare, and as a doctor, I find that it’s very hard to find reliable information online. Look forward to that!
Dr. J is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, and Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Find more from Dr. J here. It’s a great place to learn everything you need to know about birth control, skincare, and more!