By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
SEWELL – Rowan University’s Dr. Jennifer Caudle said she does not think of herself as a role model, but the nationally-sought after physician, media medical expert and historic pageant winner continues to touch those around her or see her on television.
Caudle is a board-certified family medicine physician and associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Rowan University-School of Osteopathic Medicine. The Princeton University graduate served as a faculty member in the Johns Hopkins University/Sinai Hospital Residency Program in Internal Medicine in Baltimore and an instructor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine before coming to Rowan.
“It’s always important for me to try to help others as I have been helped,” Caudle recently told Front Runner New Jersey. “I feel that this is a duty we all carry. I don’t know if I think of myself as a role model but I do hope to inspire others.”
National Known and Recognized
Many around the country may recognize Caudle, also known on-air as “Dr. Jen,” for her appearances as a medical expert on a wide range of nationally-televised shows and news programs, such as the The TODAY Show, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, FOX News, Rachael Ray Show, Steve Harvey Show, Fox 29 Philadelphia News and PBS, to name a few.
She has written health articles for The Daily Beast, CNN.com/Opinion, DoctorOz.com, ABCNews.com and she has been quoted by USA Today, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Prevention, Shape, Huff Post, Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, Men’s Health, among others.
Speaking Out About Health
“I have always felt it’s important for health professionals to discuss health issues,” Caudle said. “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to appear on TV shows such as the TODAY Show, NBC Nightly News, CNN, HLN, Dr. Oz Show, Rachael Ray and so many others in addition to practicing medicine. It’s really an honor and privilege to be able to share health information not only with my patients, but a larger audience as well.”
Caudle was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa and proudly still calls herself an “Iowa girl.”
“Iowa is a beautiful state filled with beautiful people,” Caudle said. “I left at around the age of 15 to attend Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, Mass. to finish my high school education and study cello intensively. I grew up playing cello and was very passionate about music.”
The well-rounded Caudle has performed cello in orchestras and string ensembles internationally and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School during her high school years.
Becoming Miss Iowa
While attending Princeton, she became involved in pageants at 20 when she learned about the scholarship opportunities connected with them.
She made history as only the second African-American to win Miss Iowa in 1999, being separated from the first winner, Cheryl Browne, by 29 years. Caudle went on to represent the state during the Miss America pageant, playing the cello as her talent.
“A woman at our church told me and my parents about them,” Caudle said. “I learned that the Miss America Organization is the world’s largest scholarship organization for women and I definitely needed the money for college.
“I worked different jobs while attending college but when I learned that the Miss America Organization offered scholarship money I was sold. I had never been a ‘pageant girl,’ but was excited to try it out and I did my first pageant at 20 years old. Four pageants later I ended up at the Miss America Pageant in 1999 competing as Miss Iowa.
Caudle called her Miss America Pageant time “an amazing experience” that allowed her to finish her dream of attending medical school to become a physician.
“I was the second black woman to be Miss Iowa,” Caudle said. “When I was Miss Iowa, I got to meet the first African-American woman to become Miss Iowa, Cheryl Browne, who became Miss Iowa in 1970. It was such an honor to meet her.”
Caudle said her family doctor in Iowa was one of only black doctors she knew, but was an inspiration to her decision to enter the medical field.
“My family’s doctor was an amazing physician and one of the only African-American doctors I knew growing up,” Caudle said. “He would do house-calls and always seemed to have a fix for every ailment. He was my inspiration and I always strived to do what he did. Becoming a physician was not always an easy road but it was worth it.”
Today, Caudle is also a national lecturer on opioid prescribing for physicians. She also presents workshops on health, wellness and motivation to companies and organizations, and she lectures on the topic of childhood bullying to hospitals and healthcare organizations.
For the future, Caudle for now remains open to all possibilities. When asked where she sees herself in five years, the doctor answered: “Life is an adventure. Who knows?”
We know that her patients, Rowan and the world will be watching.
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