Jefferson returns to USA Health as family medicine physician, assistant professor
“The same drive and calling that pushed me to become a physician also mandates caring for and considering the needs of other people, in every aspect of life,” said Richelle Jefferson, M.D.
By Michelle Ryan
From an early age, Richelle Jefferson, M.D., saw the importance of giving back and treating others with compassion. Now she’ll put those values into practice at USA Health as a family medicine physician and assistant professor at the Whiddon College of Medicine.
“I had the privilege of being born into an extremely giving family who showed kindness and generosity to friends and strangers alike,” she said. “Like many others, I was taught to treat others the way you’d like to be treated in every circumstance.
“The same drive and calling that pushed me to become a physician also mandates caring for and considering the needs of other people, in every aspect of life.”
Besides generosity, Jefferson was taught to value another important trait that will serve her well.
“I come from a family of educators and have always enjoyed teaching,” she said. “I actually taught math at a high school in my hometown, New Orleans, for a while before starting graduate school.”
That appreciation for teaching and learning is what drew her to USA Health’s academic health system.
“Practicing in an academic health system allows me the opportunity to share my knowledge and passion with so many future healthcare providers,” she said. “I believe that working in academics causes me to be a better individual clinician by committing to focus on up-to-date, evidence-based medicine.”
Jefferson will combine her lifelong passion for teaching and a commitment to providing quality care to medically underserved populations in her role at USA Health. She also brings the experience of working for another local federally qualified health center (FQHC), which has given her insight into USA Health’s recent partnership with Accordia Health, also an FQHC.
“I love the variety we have in family medicine as far as patient ages and medical issues that we take care of. "A half-day could consist of a newborn well-child check, pap smear, and a wellness visit,” she said. “I especially enjoy when that variety exists within one family that I take care of.
“I have a special interest in women’s health, preventive health, and office-based procedures, which I’m able to incorporate into my clinic as well.”
Jefferson, who is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, earned a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Louisiana State University and a Master of Science in biology, medical science from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. She graduated from medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
She completed a residency in family medicine at USA Health, where she served as chief resident during her third year.