Jen Caudle, D.O., has always been interested in medicine and says she was born to be a family doctor.
“I love people and I love working with families,” said the board-certified family medicine physician in New Jersey, who’s also an associate professor in the department of Family Medicine at Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Jen Caudle, who’s known as Dr. Jen, values seeing parents, kids, and extended families throughout their lives.
“It’s really special when you see someone literally through their life,” she said. “It’s an honor. I feel like it’s a gift that I’ve been given to be able to walk through life stages with my patients, hopefully guiding them to good health.”
One of the best things about being a family doctor is preventive medicine.
“We see people when they’re perfectly fine,” she said.
Dr. Jen, who plays the cello and attended Princeton, entered pageants. She was Miss Iowa 1999. The scholarships helped her pay for school.
“I didn’t win Miss America, but certainly by the end, it taught me,” she said. “I gained self-confidence. I learned that I could do things I never thought I could do.”
She didn’t know about osteopathic medicine until she was applying to medical school. Her mother told her their respected family doctor was a D.O., so Dr. Jen researched schools and called the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine. She was impressed by their whole-person approach.
“I loved what being a D.O. stands for,” she said. “I love their philosophy. I love the fact that they were open to all sorts of different students. I loved everything about it. I’ve never looked back.”
Dr. Jen wants people to know that osteopathic physicians are licensed to practice medicine and perform surgery; that D.O.s can be all kinds of all specialties, such as surgeons and dermatologists; that D.O.s are trained to treat the whole patient; and that they’re trained in hands-on manipulation called osteopathic manipulative therapy, which is a way to diagnose and treat patients using their hands.
Making a difference
Her career surged 10 years ago after she first appeared on “Dr. Oz”. These days, she’s an
on-air health expert for local and national news networks, including “The TODAY Show,” CNN, FOX News, and others.
Dr. Jen, who’s Black, is honored to be a voice for patients and providers.
“Representation matters,” she said. “It’s important that we see people who are physicians of all races, colors, cultures, creeds. It is important that we see Black men and Black women as physicians, people of color as physicians, and also talking about their experiences, and I really do believe even just seeing these images is bound to inspire and encourage our next generations.”
She’s also become a social media influencer, creating her own videos for Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. When the pandemic hit, she saw an opportunity to educate the public.
“With COVID, there was so much information coming out so fast,” she said. “And as a family doctor, I’m so interested in all these things. I started making these videos on things as we learned them, and that’s actually what really took off in the past year,” she said. “I feel really blessed to have that as a way to get out health information.”
Dr. Jen has almost 300,000 followers on Facebook, over 44,000 on Instagram, and 36,000 on YouTube.
This is her first time producing her own content, and she’s focused on providing the public with accurate medical information that’s personable and approachable. Lately, she’s gotten a lot of trolls on social media, especially regarding her advocacy for wearing masks and getting vaccines.
“Every time I get massive amounts of negative comments or comments about how face masks are bad or unhealthy, it just reminds me, clearly we’ve got to keep talking about this, because there are still people out there who have misinformation and who don’t know the truth,” she said. “Maybe I can make a difference.”