Jessica P. Floyd, M.D.
What attracted you to medicine and neurology?
This is a hard question for me! I feel like I've always been on a path toward medicine, even though I come from a family full of lawyers. I think watching my mom take care of my grandparents and great-grandparents growing up was the beginning of my journey toward medicine — I always wanted to help.
In high school, my aunt was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and that was definitely when I began to have an academic interest in medicine — and naturally in neurology as well. I started to ask questions about the disease, which led to research projects in college and a fascination with the field of medicine.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?
I was familiar with Mayo Clinic from the many years my grandmother came down here from South Carolina for her medical care. My grandmother felt that the care she received here at Mayo Clinic saved her life, and she told everyone she knew about the "wonderful doctors down at Mayo."
For that reason, I've always held Mayo Clinic in high regard when I think of "the best" in medical care. When it came down to searching for a residency program, I was equally as impressed by Mayo from a professional standpoint in terms of the educational experience I would be able to obtain here.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Adult Neurology Residency unique?
The people! I can genuinely say that coming to work, whether it's at 7:30 a.m. for rounds or 3 a.m. for a stroke in the emergency department, is a pleasurable experience because of the people we work with.
My attending physicians are great people outside of their jobs here at Mayo as well as outstanding clinicians. The amount of one-on-one attention you receive from world-renowned neurologists in our department is hard to believe. There is really no hierarchy. I feel just as comfortable stopping one of my attendings in the hall to ask a question as I do calling one of my fellow residents. I don't think you can find that type of collegiality and mutual respect for all levels of learning at many other places of training.
Did anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
I continue to be surprised by the wide variety of diseases that I am exposed to here at Mayo Clinic. Initially, I was concerned that I would not be exposed to as much "bread and butter" neurology as I would at other training sites. However, that couldn't be further from what I've experienced. I feel very comfortable with my training so far in the more typical and common neurologic diseases as well as in treating more esoteric diseases.
Having patients who have been seen at various other academic medical centers present in your clinic for an as-yet-undiagnosed condition requires you to really dig in and hone your skills of history-taking and performing a stellar neurologic examination.
Working with your attending physicians, you begin to develop a very broad differential for complicated patient presentations, and by the time you're wrapping up your third year of residency, you start to realize just how much you've been exposed to — it's unbelievable!
What is living in Jacksonville, Fla., like for you?
We love it here in Florida. My husband and I live east of the Intercoastal Waterway in the town of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. I live not even 10 minutes away from the clinic and less than a mile from the beach. My husband teaches at a local high school, so we take full advantage of our weekends off together to do something active — bike, rollerblade, visit the beach, drive to St. Augustine, catch a football game or go to the downtown Riverside Arts Market.
We welcomed our little girl, Ella, to our family in March 2012, so our free time is also spent introducing her to the world! She loves stroller rides, which you can do at all times of year here, and going to the beach to put her toes in the sand. Jacksonville has been a great home to us for the past three years — a perfect mix of laid-back beach town and big city attractions.
What does your future look like right now?
Very exciting! I'm planning on applying to a fellowship here within the next couple of months. I haven't yet decided to pursue academic versus private practice, but I'm confident that with either path I take, I'll be successful in finding a job that's satisfying to me professionally and fits with my family life. In the more near future, I'm looking forward to my senior year of residency!