Meet New York State’s Newest Doctors: Jennifer Yerke

Jennifer Yerke, MD ’12 a native of Hamburg, N.Y., has known since medical school that she wanted to stay and practice in Western New York. Now, as a first-year resident in family medicine, she is more sure than ever.

“Growing up in the area, I’ve always loved it. I’ve never really gone far away because my family and friends are here.”

When deciding where in the area she wants to practice, Yerke says she has received a lot of help from the UB Family Medicine Training Program, which gives residents exposure to different practice settings.

She also has been influenced by strong mentors, including a family medicine practitioner in rural Arcade, N.Y.

“I just loved working with him,” she says. “He embodied all that I hope to be when I am practicing. He knew all his patients: when he walked in the room, he didn’t have to look at their charts. He knew about their lives and their families, and when he went to the local supermarket, he would see them there.”

Yerke adds that her decision about where to practice also depends on her learning the business side of medicine. “A lot of people go into well-established practices to learn how things are run in the real world before feeling comfortable enough to go on their own or join a small clinic.”

In the years ahead, Yerke sees herself being in a rural or suburban practice

“I feel there’s such a need locally. I want to help people I see every day – the people who make a community a community.”

Editor’s Note: The original profile was excerpted from UB Medicine, the magazine of the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.