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Growing up in Calgary, Alberta, Jennifer Tran, MD, MBA, was instilled with all the ingredients of healthy living. Her parents owned a farmers’ market, which meant fresh food was always on the dinner table, while the beauty and adventure of western Canada’s many recreational areas were close at hand.
Dr. Tran might well have joined her parents’ business, but decided that medicine offered a different path toward managing health. Trading the foothills of the Rocky Mountains for the sunny climate of the Caribbean, she earned simultaneous medical and MBA degrees from St. George’s University in Grenada. “Learning both the science and business sides of medicine allows me to better advocate for my patients, because I see how both aspects affect them,” Dr. Tran explains.
The ability to apply a holistic approach to patient care influenced her choice of internal medicine as a specialty. “By seeing the patient as a whole, you get a better understanding of how personal, socioeconomic and lifestyle factors influence the health of an individual,” she says.
Finding a Home in the Nation’s Capital
After completing her Internal Medicine residency through the MedStar Washington Hospital Center/MedStar Georgetown University Hospital program, Dr. Tran stayed on to become an attending physician and faculty member. Along with teaching students and residents, she also enjoys applying the growing range of technology options for primary care, many of which have been pressed into service during the coronavirus pandemic.
“E-visits and apps for monitoring health are only going to grow in importance and versatility,” Dr. Tran says. “It’s a wonderful way to build a connection with patients and help them take ownership of their own health.”
Having worked extensively in the Hospital Center’s COVID-19 clinic, Dr. Tran and her practice group are working on several conference papers on COVID symptoms and management. Her other research interests include improving healthcare delivery for patients of low socioeconomic status. As a member of Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Tran is also interested in assisting immigrants with health issues. “In addition to helping them with insurance or legal issues, it’s an opportunity to understand how health and medicine are viewed in other cultures,” she says.
Outside the Hospital
Still very much a “farmers’ market daughter,” Dr. Tran enjoys visiting local outdoor markets and orchards. She also enjoys going on hiking trips with her dog and, yes, her cat.
“The cat just follows the dog, and we have a great time,” she says with a laugh.