Female Gyn/Onc to focus on women, cancer
by Maggie Mullen
Peering over three big stacks of files, Jennifer Young, M.D., leans on
her desk. When asked about her return to her alma mater, she states,
“To empower women to be their own advocate.”
This is the reason the College of Medicine Class of 2002 valedictorian is back at MUSC.
Along with two former classmates, Ashlyn Savage, M.D., and Angela
Dempsey, M.D., Young studied and now works at MUSC’s Department of
Obstetrics and Gynecology as the first female gynecologic oncologist in
As a math and science whiz in high school, it was understood that Young
would become a doctor, but medical school dreams did not linger long. A
chemistry teacher felt her problem-solving brain was more adaptive to
an engineering degree. Following that advice, she chose the University
of Virginia as her next step.
Sitting on the other side of the desk now, she leans further forward in
her chair and says in a whisper, “The other reason is engineering
doesn’t have a language requirement.”
After spending a couple of summers working at an engineering plant,
Young felt unfulfilled. “There wasn’t enough human contact and not
enough real, hands-on experience helping people,” Young said.
Dreams of being a doctor soon became a reality. She later realized that
a bachelor’s degree in engineering ended up being the perfect
preparation for medical school.
As any young clinician may feel overwhelmed in the early part of a
career, Young enthusiastically describes how she will handle a full
plate of goals. During September’s Women’s Health Lunch & Learn
Series, she ambitiously plans to dish them out one at a time. She wants
women to fully understand how and why they find themselves sitting in a
waiting room of a doctor’s office.
Young will provide a small taste of what she learned during her
residency in Boston and fellowship in Charlottesville to help
thoroughly educate Lowcountry patients. The main course will consist of
educating women about cancer and the symptoms too many women ignore
during this Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month. “Even something as
simple as irregular periods needs to be evaluated by a gynecologist,”
The icing on the cake consists not of Young’s previous work studying
Virginia‘s school mandate requiring Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
for middle school students; her future goal is to lower South
Carolina’s high HPV rate by continuing her research in vaccine
Young aspires to make MUSC a leader in the Southeast in the treatment of gynecologic cancer .
Employees and students are invited to bring their own brown bag to the
Lunch & Learn Seminar from 12-1 p.m., Sept. 22, Room 501,
Children’s Hospital. For information, call 792-1077.
Friday, Sept. 18, 2009