Meet Jamila Power, Lansing's new Community Assistant Dean

February 9, 2022

When she finishes her night shift at Sparrow Hospital at 7 a.m., Jamila Power heads to her other job as the College of Human Medicine’s new community assistant dean for the Lansing campus.

She doesn’t mind the hours.

“Oh, I absolutely love it,” said Power, MD, a 2014 College of Human Medicine graduate. While emergency medicine has been her passion for years, “I adore teaching medical students,” she said.

Power, an assistant professor and head of the middle clinical experience for emergency medicine, took on the additional duties as community assistant dean effective Dec. 1. As such, she teaches and helps students manage the demanding third and fourth years of medical school.

“Helping them achieve this lofty position as a physician is extremely gratifying,” she said. “I really want to make sure the students are okay trying to navigate medical school through the pandemic.” That includes caring for their own wellbeing, as well as for patients.

As a teen, Power was trained in Russian ballet, but soon heeded the call of medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, conducted neuroscience research, and trained as an emergency medicine technician. As a College of Human Medicine student, she enjoyed rotations through several medical specialties, and then realized that emergency medicine combined many of those skills.

“I can take care of people at the most critical times of their lives,” Power said. “I am basically tasked with meeting someone and, within the first few minutes, asking them to trust me.” While the job is stressful, it also “is extraordinarily rewarding,” she said.

The demands have increased as emergency rooms have become crowded with COVID patients and others who delayed seeking treatment for chronic conditions due to the pandemic and are in critical need of care.

“As an emergency room physician, I’m always ready for whatever comes,” Power said. “We have to be able to pivot and adjust as this virus pivots and adjusts.”

After finishing a night shift at Sparrow’s main hospital in Lansing or its satellite in Ionia, her attention shifts to instilling that same dedication in her students.

“I sleep when I can,” she said. “I eat when I can.”