Mentoring Profile: Meenakshi Jolly, MD, MS, Rush Medical College

Monday, June 24, 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.

Meenakshi Jolly, MD, MS, associate program director, Rush Lupus Clinic, and professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush Medical College, joined Rush in 2006.

Tell us about your background.

My clinical, educational and research work is focused on lupus and on finding ways to improve related health outcomes. Ten years ago, my team and I initiated the Rush Lupus Clinic, where we provide interdisciplinary care to patients with lupus. This clinic also serves as an educational and research platform for our program. We have developed tools to measure patient-reported health outcomes for patients with lupus, and we are working on the development and testing of behavioral interventions to improve health outcomes among patients with lupus. I also serve as the associate program director for our Rheumatology Fellowship program and as resident education faculty leader.

What inspired you to get into your field?

I am intrigued by the intersection of psychosocial health with one’s overall health, especially in the setting of a chronic disease. I enjoy working with young adults and mature adults. I like the long-term professional relationships that are formed while caring for patients with chronic diseases. I try to help them overcome hurdles, be they physical, emotional or other types of hurdles.

What excited you about your work at Rush?

The collegiality and interdisciplinary collaboration I have found at Rush is what excites me.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

Mentorship and sponsorship are both very important for one’s personal and career development. I have been able to reach out to other departments within Rush and outside of Rush to actively seek mentorship. I have also been actively mentoring trainees at various levels and junior faculty both within Rush and outside of it. We all need some amount of mentoring at various stages in our careers/lives, and we must also remember to mentor others when possible.

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

Identify your goals. Prioritize them. Add a timeline to them. Identify the resources you have and don’t have to succeed. Initiate and sustain action. Reach out for help when needed. Revisit your goals along the timeline so that you can track, reset and revise them.

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

Creative arts of various kinds are my release.