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We are so excited to showcase some of our brilliant UME educators in the department of medicine and across our AHEC sites. For many of us there are certain teachers in our past who left a mark on our lives and are highly valued. For some they may be the reason you went into medicine or the specialty you are in. The DOM along with the AHEC sites have many highly regarded educators who are closely involved in teaching and mentoring our students. Thus, we want to feature some of our educators so that we can all get to know them better. 

Drs. Koyal Jain and Ashley Henderson

Tell us a little about how got you interested in education and your background?

I’m originally from rural, small-town Texas. We grew up in humble circumstances and I am the first and only physician in my family. I was fortunate to have had some amazing opportunities in my formal education and training, and several faculty inspired me and helped me along the way at various points in my journey. I could have used more guidance, though, honestly.

I became a physician out of a desire to help others, and realized as I pursued my own path that as a physician I could make a difference not only for patients, but also for other young people aspiring to become physicians themselves. I see medical education as a form of service and giving and trying to make a positive difference in my community. And, it’s super fun and rewarding.


What is your role in undergraduate medical education and how did you get involved in it?

I have led small groups in several courses at the SOM, including SHS4, PCC, and CBL. I also have served as a mentor for medical students in the scholarly concentration for Global Health. I love working with students. I have also been involved in GME as an attending on the teaching services and an Associate Program Director for the Med-Peds residency program, so have been engaged in graduate medical education within the DOM.

When the opportunity arose to serve as the Co-Director for the Inpatient Core Clerkship, I was humbled and excited to be selected for the role. It’s a “best of all worlds” position for me. I still teach PCC and CBL, so I know what the students are learning in their pre-clinical years and can use that knowledge to better support them in the core inpatient medicine clinical experience. I still participate in GME activities, which also informs how I think about their curriculum and the key clinical skills and topics we focus on during their core clinical time. I get to meet almost all of our students, and for those who choose to pursue IM residency, I get to know them a bit better during the residency application process as part of the Career Goal Advising team.

What is your most important/valued achievement in education and why?

I learned that this year my PCC students nominated me for a teaching award, and apparently they have nominated me for more than one award over the years. I haven’t won, but it is so touching, affirming, and meaningful to me that they believe that I played an important role in their medical education – I didn’t need to win the award to feel all the good things that their nomination represents. I honestly consider their nomination my most valuable achievement in education.

What do you enjoy in your free time or outside work?

Outside work I am a wife and mother of three awesome children – currently ages 9yo, 7.5yo, and 6yo. Being their mom makes me a better person. All the things I learn about “gentle parenting” translate to “gentle doctoring” and “gentle colleague-ing”!

I love to be with my kids, and try to be present in whatever the moment is. Playing with legos, putting away small-sized clothes, engaging in a game of “which would you rather” or taking “but what if…” to infinity. Bluey (a kids show we watch sometimes) is pretty awesome, and sometimes my husband and I watch it after the kids are asleep. We like to take walks in the woods and do yardwork. I try to practice intentional mindfulness every day.

Before I was a mom, I traveled a lot (to 35 countries!), and aspire to travel again with our kids one day.