Family physician Dr. Jennifer Bryan is a member of the board of directors of the Mississippi State Medical Association and served as chair of the board for several years. She was the first female physician elected to hold this leadership position. She received her undergraduate degree from Mississippi State University in microbiology, graduating magna cum laude. She received her medical degree from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, where she also completed her family medicine residency in 2006 and was the chief resident of West Jackson Family Medical Center.

Bryan practiced traditional family medicine in her hometown of Brandon from 2006 to 2010. She joined the Department of Family Medicine in 2010 and achieved the rank of Associate Professor and has taught many physicians around the state. She joined St. Dominic Medical Associates in December 2017 and practices medicine at Flowood.

Bryan is a delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA) and vice chair of the Mississippi delegation to the AMA. At WADA, she sits on the Southeastern United States Board of Directors as a board member.

She and her husband, Tim, are the parents of three children.

Are you treating many coronavirus patients?

“Yes. We see a lot of patients who have the coronavirus. What I hear from a lot of patients when they discuss the vaccine is that they deny or downplay the severity of the virus. suspicion about basic medical advice regarding vaccinations.

“We spend a lot of time with patients discussing the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations to eradicate the coronavirus. We see a great demand for monoclonal antibodies once people get infected. Surprisingly, people will say that they don’t want the vaccine because it is under emergency use authorization, but then they will ask for the antibodies once they are sick, which are also under emergency use authorization. ’emergency. There is a disconnect there.

What do you witness as a doctor?

“We are witnessing a lot of regrets. We see a lot of severe morbidity and disability in our patients. We see in follow-up visits of patients on oxygen, patients with brain fog, and patients with long-term cardiopulmonary, respiratory and other generalized disorders. We see significant heart pain and emotional strain on families. It’s tragic.

What has been the impact of the coronavirus on employees in the health sector?

“The healthcare workforce is under enormous pressure. Many of them suffer from compassion fatigue. They are frustrated with people who have ridiculed them and denied their basic medical advice. The public has repeatedly been disrespectful of healthcare workers, not only nationally, but also here in Mississippi.

“Time and time again, healthcare workers do their best, but at some point people get tired and frustrated. They are tired. Their colleagues are sick or quarantined, and their family members may be sick. Many employees have resigned or retired, some have died. Those who remain standing are stretched to the limit.

“There is a lot of moral injustice with what they see and experience on a daily basis. They are emotionally traumatized by the critically ill and dying patients who die in hospital and visit once healthy patients in their clinics who are significantly disabled after COVID. They bring bad news to families every day. Add to that extended working hours because the workforce is so exhausted, and that’s just a recipe for sheer exhaustion. Now we are happy to see that we are receiving help in the state, but it will not be enough to stem the tide of everything we see and will see. ”

What impact do you think the pandemic will have on the medical field in the years to come?

“I hear a lot of national opinion leaders say that we will have a workforce crisis on the other side of the pandemic health crisis. Some may work during the pandemic and then quit or retire, and it takes time to train a new workforce. It’s rewarding work, however, and I hope that eventually, interest in the pandemic and those eager to help can lead to a renaissance that will bring in new healthcare workers. ”

How busy are the state’s medical facilities?

” There is no room left. Medical facilities are overwhelmed and overwhelmed. It will get worse because we have not reached the zenith.

“We are experiencing explosive viral transmission and this is painfully evident as we see field hospitals walking into parking lots. As cases continue to rise, we know this will lead to an increase in hospitalizations and then several weeks later to an increase in deaths. This is just what is happening. Monoclonal antibodies can help us with severely infected people, and vaccinations can help us in the long run. ”

What do you say to people who are reluctant to get the coronavirus vaccine?

“Vaccines are safe, free, effective and widely available. Research was conducted on these types of vaccines for decades before COVID-19 based on the first outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

“I usually talk with each individual for about 20 minutes, educating them about the science and the fact that 97% to 98% of American doctors are fully vaccinated.

“I encourage people to go see their doctor. Consult with your trusted local healthcare professional to get the expertise you need and the opinion you trust. Healthcare professionals are tense, but we try to take as much time as possible to educate patients to their own satisfaction and answer all of their questions, so that they truly understand that vaccines are safe.

What made you want to take medicine?

“Like most doctors, I wanted to make a difference. I have a knack for communicating with people and have always studied science quickly. I had an uncle who was a family doctor who mentored me and taught me a lot growing up. It was obvious that medicine was going to be my career choice and a natural choice for me. It’s a very rewarding area, but it’s incredibly stressful with the pandemic. We’ll see the other side of that, but we have a lot of work to do for the next few weeks. To get through the pandemic, we need the support of our communities. We cannot win this battle for them.

How have you been personally affected by the pandemic?

“I mourn the loss of life, the loss of what used to be our daily life. I am worried about the mental and physical health of my colleagues. As a mother, I am grappling with what this means for the future of my children and how it will impact them. Day to day, I take care of COVID patients and I sense their concerns. It’s gratifying to be able to give them the proven antibody treatment. It has improved significantly from last year when we had virtually nothing to do for so many people. ”

“I am globally troubled by how a public health crisis has been made political to the detriment of all of us. I doubt a healthcare professional will ever fully recover from all of this. However, I know pandemics always end, and I find a lot of hope and comfort in them. We will see happier days. You just have to work to get there. ”

How many doctors are there in Mississippi?

“There are 5,714 practicing physicians in Mississippi. ”

What are the symptoms of the coronavirus?

“Symptoms of the coronavirus can range from a sniffling to a severe cough, shortness of breath and respiratory disease. This is a wide range of symptoms that are often indistinguishable between allergies and the common cold.

“One of the hallmarks of COVID-19 symptoms is loss of taste and smell. It is not an absolute if it is not present. If you lose your taste and smell, you can usually bet it’s coronavirus. Many people can have it without shedding, but if you are having this specific symptomatology, it is almost always coronavirus. ”

What should a person do with symptoms?

“If you have symptoms, go ahead and get tested. It’s important to test early so that you can get monoclonal antibodies if your test is positive. There is a time limit on this. It is important to know if you have coronavirus so that you can seek treatment. ”

How is the coronavirus treated?

“The two things proven to help with the coronavirus are monoclonal antibodies and further in the disease, steroids if needed.

“Contact your doctor to find out about monoclonal antibodies if you are infected. Around the state, there are sites set up to administer the antibodies. They are readily available and very effective.

What can an individual do to protect themselves from the coronavirus?

“We should all get vaccinated. Wear masks, medical grade masks if possible. Social distancing, avoid crowds, practice good hand washing, and take care of your overall health.

“If your test is positive, monoclonal antibodies are an incredible resource that can prevent serious illness. ”

Why are masks important?

“All masks work to some extent; This is to reduce the viral spread. Viruses travel on respiratory droplets. When you wear a mask, it decreases the number of droplets and secretions that spread the virus. Although nothing offers absolute protection, ALL masks reduce the spread of the virus that is suspended in the air. ”

Who is the vaccine recommended for? For what ages is it recommended?

“All vaccines are indicated for ages 18 and over, with the exception of the Pfizer vaccine, which is indicated for ages 12 and over at this time.”

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