Mentoring Profile: Janet Furman, MMS, PA-C, College of Health Sciences

Monday, October 28, 2019

The Rush Women Mentoring Program fosters professional development and a sense of community and collaboration among women faculty at Rush University. In this series, we highlight program mentors and mentees and learn more about how mentoring has impacted them.

Janet Furman, MMS, PA-C, director of advanced practice provider competency and education, Rush University Medical Center, and assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, College of Health Sciences, joined Rush in 2012.

Tell us about your background.

Janet Furman: I am from Joliet, Illinois and have lived in Illinois all of my life. I have been interested in athletics and nutrition from a young age. I received an undergraduate degree in nutrition and food science from Northern Illinois University. I completed a dietetic at Hines VA and subsequently embarked on a career in critical care nutrition, caring for patients in the ICU at Cook County Hospital and, ultimately, at Rush. Realizing I wanted to be more involved in patient care, I attended PA school at Midwestern University in Downers Grove. I have worked in family practice and internal medicine, but most of my clinical career has been spent practicing emergency medicine. After 12 years of full-time clinical practice, I returned to Rush as faculty in the PA program. This led to my current administrative position providing education and training opportunities to our practicing APPs. I still teach part time in the PA program, and I still see patients, providing e-visits and occasional urgent care to the Rush community.

What inspired you to get into your field?

JF: I was a nutrition support dietitian here at Rush for several years, and I realized quickly that I wanted to take care of the whole patient and be responsible for creating their treatment plan.

What excites you about your work at Rush?

JF: The Rush PA program is a small, dedicated, close-knit faculty, where we have the honor of teaching some of the brightest students in the country.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

JF: Mentoring is an important part of career advancement. I was lucky to find a mentor through the natural progression of my career. It is important to set goals for yourself and then network with like-minded people. Being a mentor is also a valuable skill, and it’s important to contribute to your profession in that way if you are able to do so. Your experience is always valuable!

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

JF: Get as much direct patient care experience as you can before applying to PA school. Grades are important, but life and work experience help us to become well rounded, mature professionals!

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

JF: I am an avid open water swimmer and triathlete.