Cara Jennings, MD, is a palliative medicine specialist at Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital. In her role, she is focused on providing comfort and improving the quality of life for anyone who has a serious illness.
“I have been practicing medicine since 2013,” Dr. Jennings shares. “I was always interested in medicine, especially geriatrics. When I was about 12 years old, my grandmother was in a nursing home in Fairfax, Va. I became the youngest volunteer the nursing home ever had at that time.”
Dr. Jennings completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation and then a fellowship in hospice and palliative medicine at VCU in Richmond, Va.
“My first and only job has been with Bon Secours,” she says. “While I was training at VCU, one of my mentors was Dr. Leanne Yanni. So, it was a natural fit when I joined the practice with her.”
With our mission of giving compassionate care especially people who are poor, dying and underserved, working for Bon Secours has proved to be rewarding for Dr. Jennings.
“I can see myself continuing and growing my work as a physician within the ministry for many years to come,” she shares.
When asked to reflect on her medical profession and what she is most proud of, Dr. Jennings says her team members.
“I am especially proud to be part of our amazing palliative medicine team,” she adds. “I am also able to collaborate with the nurses, therapists and other specialists on the floor. The St. Mary’s team never ceases to amaze me with their knowledge and selflessness, particularly proven during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
When asked what her favorite thing about being a physician is, she shares it’s the recognition and impact she makes on others’ lives.
“It means the world when a patient or family tells my team that our involvement has made a difference in their journey with serious, chronic illness or at end-of-life care. It truly is a team effort.”
And as for what Dr. Jennings would be doing if she wasn’t a palliative care physician?
“I would run or own a local children’s bookstore. As my two children have grown, one of my favorite things has been to read to and with them. I’m excited that my daughter and I are about to begin reading the Harry Potter series together.”
We are so proud of Dr. Jennings and all the amazing work she does for our patients at Bon Secours.
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