As director, Pierce says she fulfills the roles of principal, counselor, recruiter, financial officer, time keeper and registrar for 16 physicians in training.
By Carol McPhail
Jennifer Young Pierce, M.D., M.P.H., professor of interdisciplinary clinical oncology at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, and leader of Cancer Control and Prevention at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute, has been named program director for USA Health’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program.
“Dr. Pierce has a strong background as a clinician, researcher and teacher,” said Mary B. “Mimi” Munn, professor and chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the USA College of Medicine. “She brings an enthusiasm and an energy to the job, and is a wonderful advocate for the residents both as a group as well as individually, making their needs a very high priority.”
As director, Pierce says she fulfills the roles of principal, counselor, recruiter, financial officer, time keeper and registrar for 16 physicians in training. “The part I enjoy most is being able to guide residents, to make sure that they feel heard and that their needs are met, so they can become the best doctors they can be,” she said.
Pierce recalls burnout being the largest hurdle to overcome during her time as an OB/GYN resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital. Dealing with burnout will be one of her focal points as program director. Pierce said she wants to help physicians “take charge of their own education, their own burnout, and make sure they have the emotional tools they need for a lifetime of being an OB-GYN.”
Pierce was recruited to USA Health from the Medical University of South Carolina, where she served as GYN Oncology disease team leader at Hollings Cancer Center and associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology for eight years. With a degree in medicine from MUSC and degrees in engineering and public health from the University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Pierce became the first female gynecologic oncologist in South Carolina in 2009.
While in fellowship at the University of Virginia, she developed an active research interest in cervical cancer and HPV treatment and prevention. Board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, and gynecologic oncology, Pierce served on the National HPV Roundtable and currently serves on the cervical cancer and immunotherapy committees for the NRG, the cooperative clinical trials group of the National Cancer Institute. She is also host of The Cancering Show podcast, created by USA Health.