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Dr. Ann Connor Jobe

Year of Birth / Death

b. 1946

Medical School

University of Nevada School of Medicine


North Carolina

Career Path

Administration: Medical school deans
General medicine: Family
Dr. Ann Connor Jobe


I was very concerned that dysfunctional health care teams were adversely impacting the quality of care being provided to patients.

I had always enjoyed and appreciated the marvelous and complex science of the human body and desired to learn in more depth about the science of medicine than I had learned in my undergraduate and graduate nursing courses. A major motivation for applying to medical school, though, was my concern about patient-physician interaction. As I observed how often patients were not included at the central core of their own health care team, I decided that I would be willing to pursue seven additional years of medical education and residency to become a part of the solution. I was also motivated by my concerns about the dysfunctional interaction and communication between health professionals, especially nurses and physicians... I wanted to position myself to be a part of the solution.

I was a faculty member in a nursing school and needed to complete a "terminal degree" to continue my appointment, and I decided that a doctor of medicine degree would allow me a broader opportunity to impact the care that patients receive.


Dr. Ann Connor Jobe has always been fascinated with the science of medicine. After a career in nursing she trained as a physician and later become dean of Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia, when only eight women served as deans in United States medical schools.

Born in 1946, Ann Jobe received her undergraduate degree from Vermont's Middlebury College in 1967. soon after, while doing volunteer work at a hospital, she decided on a nursing career. She earned her first nursing degree from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1976 and her master of science in nursing from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1978. Working as an operating room nurse and staff nurse and later teaching nursing at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, she noticed that the lack of communication among health professionals and patients was adversely impacting the quality of care. She decided to do something about it. She enrolled in medical school, intending to pursue a career in family practice. In 1986 she graduated first in her class from the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

After completing her family practice residency at Florida Hospital in Orlando, in 1989 Dr. Jobe moved to Greenville, North Carolina, to become an instructor of family medicine at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine. Over the years, Dr. Jobe's responsibilities increased, and during the next decade she served as associate dean for student affairs and academic programs, associate professor, and senior associate dean and professor. Dr. Jobe's career at East Carolina University culminated in her appointment as interim vice chancellor for health sciences, during which she led the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, Allied Health Sciences, and the Health Sciences Library. She was appointed dean of Georgia's Mercer University School of Medicine in 2001. In order to continue her direct interaction with medical students to offer her insights into better patient care, Dr. Jobe also currently serves as professor of family medicine at Mercer.

In 1992 Dr. Jobe was named a W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Partnership Leadership Development Fellow. She serves as a member-at-large for the Governing Council of the American Medical Association's Section on Medical Schools and is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Christian Medical Association. In 2001 Dr. Jobe was voted Physician Volunteer of the Year for her service in a student-run clinic for the homeless in Greenville, North Carolina.

Question and Answer

What was my biggest obstacle?

My biggest obstacle was my own lack of confidence in my ability to complete the remaining premedical requirements in chemistry and physics and to successfully complete the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). I had it in my head that women are not good in science and math and therefore I had shied away from physics and a premedical major in my undergraduate degree. Initially another obstacle was the premedical advisory committee at the school where I was teaching nursing and where I completed my remaining prerequisites. They advised me to retake all my science courses prior to applying to medical school. Others might have noted that my age could have been an obstacle, as I had already obtained a bachelor of science degree, an additional degree as registered nurse and a master of science in nursing degree. Then, rather than being an obstacle, the premedical advisory committee became a rallying point for me to prove that I could do it.

How do I make a difference?

I hope I make a difference by role modeling and speaking out about the ideals and values of medicine and health care and the need for academic health centers to be more accountable to societal needs and to win back the public trust. I continue to work to bring changes in medical education curricula that ensure that future generations of physicians are compassionate and caring, competent, excellent communicators, collaborators with other health professionals, continually improving their skills and abilities, and committed to the profession of medicine and serving patients and communities. I stay involved in professional organizations and working with others to continue to improve our systems of health care and education and to emphasize collaboration and respect across the professions.

Who was my mentor?

I have had several mentors. One is Dr. James Hallock, who saw in me something I did not see myself, and opened a door to me in medical school administration. Another is Dr. Robert Daugherty, who shepherded and encouraged me as a medical student and showed me that leadership in medical education, although challenging, is something that can be fun and rewarding. I have the privilege of having several colleagues and peers who have been supporters and encouragers. Dr. Dona Harris, who, from early on when I was a medical student, encouraged and supported my ideas and my career path and was always there to provide wise counsel. Dr. Kathy Kolasa shared with me numerous opportunities for scholarly activity, including projects, presentations and publications and was also an encourager and supporter.

How has my career evolved over time?

When I was in my family practice residency I planned to have a practice where health professionals worked collaboratively as a team to provide holistic care to patients. A practice where prevention and nutrition and exercise were all incorporated into the office setting. As I pondered the impact of this, I realized that it would be limited to those patients I could see as a part of my practice. I wanted to impact future generations of physicians who could then positively impact many more individuals in their practices. I chose to enter academic medicine and become a faculty member at a medical school. Little did I know, never did I conceive of the potential of that decision leading to me becoming a dean and having the opportunity and privilege to lead a medical school.

I continue to find doors opening to me to work on improving the collaboration between health professionals. I hope that when it is all said and done that I will look back and see that patients and their families are receiving compassionate and competent care from health care teams that communicate well and are continually looking for ways to improve the systems of care.