Doctor Spotlight: Jessica L. Mack
Dr. Jessica L. Mack is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as American Lifestyle Medicine. Dr. Mack is a graduate of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she earned her bachelor's, master's, and medical degree. She then completed her internship in Internal Medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Harbor, MI. Dr. Mack stayed in Ann Harbor to complete her Residency at the University of Michigan as well as her fellowship in Interventional Spine.
Q: When did you first know you wanted to become a Physiatrist?
A: I didn't even know about Physiatry when I started medical school. During my surgery rotation we had a lecture from a pain fellow. I had been a massage therapist prior to medical school and then had seen the difficulties of treating pain during my family practice rotation. I had no idea there was such a thing as a pain fellowship. I began looking into pathways to a pain fellowship. Anesthesia didn't seem all that appealing but I discovered a specialty called Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation that focused on function and quality of life. A perfect fit for me!
Q: What were some challenges you faced along the way?
A: I had both my kids during residency so balancing pregnancy and then parenting babies/very young children during training was a challenge but totally worth it!
Q: What makes your patient care approach unique?
A: I think my non-traditional background, interest in Lifestyle Medicine, and PMR training focusing on function/quality of life allow me to discuss lots of options with patients about how to help their pain as well as improve their life and health.
Q: What made you decide to focus on physiatry and physical medicine?
A: So many things make this a great specialty. I love the focus on function and quality of life and the challenge of figuring out why a patient has pain. I love that I get to do procedures but I also get to develop relationships with patients.
Q: What is the most common injury you see?
A: Pinched nerves and back pain.
Q: Can you walk us through a day in the life of Dr. Mack?
A: Well, I get up, get ready for the day, then make sure the kids are getting up and ready. We have 3 dogs so feed the dogs and kids. At work, I'll either be in the office seeing patients and doing some in-office procedures like trigger point injections or in the procedure room doing procedures. In the evening we will have dinner as a family, often with extended family joining us, maybe walk the dogs or kick the soccer ball around. Put the kids to bed and then get in a workout.
Fill in the Blanks
- If I were not a doctor, I would be: Probably either a dog trainer or a landscape designer.
- My biggest pet peeve is: Children who don't clean up after themselves (my children really)
- One little-known fact about me is: I once almost got run over by a whale while kayaking off the western coast of Canada
- My favorite food is: Chocolate.
- What's your favorite thing to do outside of COPA: Camping and hiking with my husband, kids, and dogs.