For Family Medicine resident Lessly Hernandez, MD, going into the medical field has been her dream since she was seven. Although a career in medicine was her clear path forward, she was unsure of what she wanted to pursue until she decided to enroll in the Trimble Tech High School EMT program.
In the EMT program, the students participated in ride-out shifts with MedStar for hands-on learning. Dr. Hernandez’s first ride-out brought her to JPS Health Network and the experience impacted her field of choice.
“My very first ride-out ended up being a severe call. It was a terrible three-car motor vehicle collision and the patient we responded to was about eight months pregnant,” Dr. Hernandez said. “We rushed her over to JPS, and I was entranced with their healthcare team. It was amazing to see how well everyone was working together. It really made an impact on me because that’s when I decided I wanted to be a doctor.”
Dr. Hernandez didn’t know if her dreams were too big for her to accomplish, but she wanted to give herself a chance so she wouldn’t have any regrets.
“I talked about it with my parents, and I told them, ‘I know this is really ambitious. To be honest, I don’t know if I can do it, but I don’t want to live with this big what if, so let’s give pre-med a try and along the way, I’ll come up with a backup for when I fail,’ ” Dr. Hernandez said.
Dr. Hernandez, a first-generation college student, graduated from Tarleton State University for Pre-Med Biomedical Science, then later from the UT Long School of Medicine in San Antonio.
Choosing a hospital to advance her medical training and education was easy because she always had good experiences at JPS. It was the hospital she was born in, the hospital that took care of her parents, and the hospital that assisted with deciding her career. She knew the Family Medicine program was great.
“They offered a training that was full scope and broad spectrum, and that’s what I wanted for my training because I didn’t want to limit myself to anything,” Dr. Hernandez said. “I knew JPS residency programs produced very competent, able doctors.”
Working at JPS has also allowed her to give back to her community, specifically working with a Spanish-speaking population.
“Being able to speak to my patients in Spanish and seeing that relief on their face when you speak to them in their native language tugs on my heartstrings every time,” Dr. Hernandez said.