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Division of Women’s Health, Department of Internal Medicine, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic ArizonaVIEW PROFILE
Three years post-residency, Jewel Kling, M.D., is focused on establishing and building her practice in women’s health at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. She’s co-medical director of a new community-based clinic in downtown Phoenix, in conjunction with St. Vincent de Paul, where students from the brand new Mayo Clinic School of Medicine – Arizona campus will care for patients.
It has gotten better (no 30-hour shifts or in-hospital call), but I’m surprised I still feel so much stress about things. The new stress is identifying the type of career I want to build. In addition to my clinical practice, I’m very interested in women’s health research. Historically, our division hasn’t been looked at as a research division, so I’m working with colleagues to try to build that here, which means we have to find funding, time and other resources.
I appreciate that Mayo offers the opportunity to expand what I do in my day. I love taking care of patients and like to mix it up with teaching and research. Switching among these areas allows me to prevent burnout. It’s very exciting to be able to work with the medical school from the ground up. I can’t wait to start working with medical students, who start this summer.
I have two children. I had my first child, Enler, six weeks before my intern year at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. It was stressful, with 30-hour calls. I breastfed for a whole year and pumped in between rounds and patient care. Everyone was very supportive. I had my second child, Neala, during chief year.
Now that training is over, nights and weekends are for my family. We enjoy hiking, movies, live music and traveling. My husband, Graham Twaddell, is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. We’re spending two weeks there this summer. My husband is incredibly supportive, and we make a great team, juggling two full-time jobs and two busy kids. We make it work for both of our careers.
In the last year I’ve focused more on my own health. I track what I eat and move more. I put myself and my own health on my to-do list. I try to get enough sleep and eat well. We’re vegetarian, and my husband is an excellent cook. I want to be a good example for my kids and for my patients — practice what I preach.
I’ve always been interested in caring and advocating for women. Early on in medical training I knew I wasn’t interested in a surgical specialty. Internal medicine was appealing, and I branched off into a focus on women. Menopause and sexual medicine is a special and unique field. It’s gratifying to make a difference in women’s lives when they’ve been told there’s nothing that can be done to help their hot flashes, low libido or vaginal dryness.
We’re working on expanding our women’s health consultative practice. We provide primary care as well as consults in menopause, sexual health, contraception and integrative health. As far as my research career, I recently received an intramural MEGA Program grant to collaborate with Virginia Miller, Ph.D. (PHYS ’86), at Mayo in Rochester, as well as others, to study menopause and cognition through samples collected in the Kronos Early Estrogen Prevention Study (KEEPS). My goal is to apply for external funding and continue to advance the field of women’s health. By doing so, I hope to advance to associate professor and then full professor.
I knew from age 10 that I wanted to be a doctor, and I had great role models for the type of doctor I wanted to be. My dad was a homicide and sex crimes detective. My mom was a therapist for rape victims. I saw them be advocates for others. That shaped the kind of doctor I am. I like to be an advocate for people and our community.
My mentors encouraged me to get a nontraditional major during my undergraduate years since I would cover the basic sciences with my premedical classes. I knew I’d pick up the science part of medicine once I went to medical school. I have bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and psychology. My psychology degree has proven very helpful in my practice and career. I’ve found that concepts such as emotional intelligence — being able to connect with patients and colleagues — help to make a better doctor. I studied Spanish because I grew up in Arizona, which has a large Spanish-speaking population, and I wanted to be able to serve my community. I’ve been “dusting off” my Spanish-speaking skills as we prepare for the launch of the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine Student Community Clinic at St. Vincent de Paul in 2018.
I wanted to be a good leader, and my training and background in public health helps with that. I am also interested in health policy and improving health care for everyone. I spent a semester interning in the Arizona governor’s office, working on the Governor’s Commission on Women’s and Children’s Health as part of my M.P.H. requirements.
I’m really excited about the medical school starting and working with the students. I already teach residents about women’s health and benign breast disease. I help oversee the LGBT resident curriculum. Often, medical school and resident curriculum is limited in these areas, so I’m glad our program incorporates this important curriculum.
I’m co-director of a new community-based clinic where second-year medical students will be introduced to the social determinants of health. What if you prescribe a medication and the patient can’t afford it? What if the patient doesn’t speak English?
I love the patients we serve at Mayo Clinic, and I also wanted to serve those in need of the greater Phoenix community. During residency, as part of the Residents and Fellows’ Association, I helped set up a similar resident clinic in downtown Phoenix. I enjoy using the training I worked on for so long to give back to the people in my community. I look forward to working with the new medical students and introducing these important concepts from the start of their training.
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