A Top Emergency and Family Medicine Doctor
BY ADAM KLUGER, PHOTOGRAPHY BY KRISTY BELCHER, KING STYLIST JACLYN STAPP,
HAIR /MAKEUP KIMBERLEY STINCHCOMB
Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, a trusted Family & ER Doctor, Popular Medical TV News expert, Board Certified M.D. and Medical Director of CityMD, decided to pursue a career in medicine at an early age. According to Dr. Janette, she was about 11 or 12 years old when she realized she loved taking care of others. Her mom is a pediatric orthopedic nurse, and she fell in love watching her mom care for sick, injured and abused children. It was magical to see her mom put a smile on their faces and love, nurture and care for them until they were literally back on their feet again. Dr. Janette was born in Carmel, New York but raised in small town Umatilla, Florida by her widowed mom. Her Dad passed in an accident when she was 13. Dr. Janette says she was inspired by her widowed mother of 5 children, a beloved pediatric nurse and the director of orthopedics at the prestigious Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Seeing her take care of sick children touched a young Janette and motivated her.
“I knew I wanted to care for others and follow in her footsteps. After school, I would always go to the local hospital where she worked, Harry Anna Hospital. Watching my kind, beautiful mom put a smile on the faces of so many children who adored her as she helped them day after day strengthen, grow and heal was inspiring and life-changing for me. She is a role model, an inspiration, and has touched the lives of so many. She is humble and kind, with the heart to always put others first. Some of the children she cared for, now adults, still remember her vividly 30 years later. I was checking in at the airport once and the gate agent looked at my name and started to cry when she asked me if I was relayed to Hayat, my mom. She told me how my mom had such a huge impact in her life and would cheer her up and distract her from pain and a near-death bone disease she suffered that nearly took her limb and life. This patient never forgot my mom.”
As a top emergency and family medicine doctor, Dr. Janette’s days are filled with all sorts of medical crises and emergencies. No day is a typical day. Dr. Janette says she feels blessed to be able to wake up each day and, through the Grace of God, have the ability to care for others, help them heal and recover. It’s an honor and privilege she says, to be a physician, a duty she cherishes and never takes for granted. Life as a physician is hectic, stressful and variable but also extremely rewarding and fulfilling according to Dr. Janette. As in any profession, she says she has the good, the bad and the ugly days.
“Some days I wake up as early as 4 A.M., go to the a TV studio and discuss a various array of medical topics such as opioids, teen vaping, heart disease, drug costs/health care, the latest Alzheimer’s drug or the flu, or new medical technology etc— topics that affect everyday Americans and have a direct impact on their lives. After that, I will head to work where I will see all types of patients who suffer from different ailments. I have had everything from strep throat to stabbings, heart attack patients, severe anaphylaxis patients, asthma, appendicitis, drug toxicity, etc. Some days are uneventful and others make you appreciate life, which really is too short. To help heal and support and improve someone’s life is a privilege. It can be tough and overwhelming at times, but having a positive impact on the life of one person makes it all worth it.”
As if she were not busy enough with her practice and her role as a very popular Medical expert on TV, Dr. Nesheiwat is also the Medical Director of CityMD. A job she is uniquely qualified for. Dr. Janette did her medical training and studies at UAMS, University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, just outside Little Rock. As a medical resident, she moonlighted in the ER; sometimes in very rural areas where she was the only doctor for miles. She also volunteered and hosted a medical TV program called “Family Health Today”, an opportunity and platform to teach, reach out and educate the communities where diabetes, drugs, obesity, heart disease was so prevalent. She started doing medical talks on the local level, then state level and not long after began discussing medical issues on national and international platforms. Having family in New York where she is from, her little sister and sidekick Dina, a criminal defense attorney in NYC, actually did some research and ultimately found her a job at CityMD. She describes CityMD as a healthcare center whose motto is “serve with kindness” this is what attracted her to move back to New York and continue serving and caring for patients and at the same time continue discussing important medical issues on a larger platform through television. Not long after being hired at CityMD Dr. Janette was promoted to Medical Director where she oversees other doctors and physician assistants to help collaborate with community organizations to provide care for those in need, ensure that patients receive top-quality care, and continue to care for her patients at the same time.
Dr. Janette is also involved with the Red Cross and emergency relief where she was honored to be awarded a red cross international service award. Some experiences she has had in emergency relief include leading medical missions, assisting those who are injured, and living in poverty with no access to health care or aid. Dr. Janette has assisted Hurricane Katrina victims who lost their meds their asthma inhalers, their blood pressure medicines, and had rashes and infections from the flooding. During both 2011’s Joplin tornado and the earthquake in Haiti, I cared for kids, delivered babies on the roadside, provided physicals and exams for the those in the village of Leogane and at an orphanage.
Dr. Janette was also trained as an officer by the U.S. Army which she speaks of fondly.
“ I completed Army ROTC in college, completed advanced officer training in Ft. Lewis Washington and Ft. Drum New York, but I did not go into the Army— I went to medical school instead. Still, this was an incredible life-changing experience in which I was able to use my experiences in leading medical missions around the world and as a medical leader in my community. I was inspired by my sister, Military Intelligence officer Captain Julia Nesheiwat, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who encouraged servitude and giving back to our country. I have had a big role in helping to combat the opioid epidemic in the US; Including speaking at the White House Opioid Summit in Washington, working with our Surgeon General, coordinating Drug Take-Back Day, promoting prescription drug monitoring programs, advocating for education, rehab, and detox.”
Always busy, Dr. Janette still always finds time to promote good health and help others. It’s just who she is.
“Discussing the most current, accurate, and up to date medical information on live national and international TV has become a regular part of my life. Being able to provide health information not only to my patients behind closed doors but to millions of TV viewers might have a positive impact on someone’s life who is listening, such as general reminders to get your mammogram and colonoscopy, that early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes— cancer is no longer a death sentence if caught early. TV medicine is like teaching but more difficult as you only have a short amount of time to state the most important aspects of a disease or topic. I love teaching, discussing medical topics, educating the community and addressing critical issues such as the opioid epidemic, teen vaping causing hospitalizations, the flu, measles, the latest breakthrough drugs or outbreaks, mental illness and much more. I have also had the opportunity to heavily advocate and educate the community on prevention via education on live national and international televised programs for the massive vaping epidemic— I’ve had many young patients suffering from vape injuries.”
Dr. Janette also practices what she preaches in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle!
“I stay in shape by following a daily regime and diet. It varies, and I generally like to change things up. I drink a cup of tea in the morning if I am feeling run down, sometimes coffee. I am actually not a big coffee drinker, although both coffee and tea have great therapeutic properties. We all know low-fat, high fiber diets are best, but the key is moderation. I love to do squats any time I can, gets the heart rate going and don’t need to be in the gym to do them. Plant-based/Mediterranean diet has been shown to be heart healthy. This is important because heart disease is the #1 killer in The United States and not far behind heart disease is cancer. Colon cancer which can be in part the result of not enough green leafy veggies, fiber, and too much processed foods, smoking, alcohol. My sister Jaclyn Stapp, former Miss USA New York, a children’s book author and founder of CHARM, got my mom and me into yoga. Yoga is great for stress relief. I need variety and it’s great having 5 siblings and having a workout buddy to encourage variety. Dina loves cycling class and orange theory; Julia is a runner and my biggest motivator; my brothers Danny and JonPaul love to weight lift but I won’t do more than light weights and resistance training with them. We all motivate each other to work hard, put family and God first and to give back to the community.”
Her daily regimen includes a good breakfast and healthy snacks.
“I believe in a good breakfast. So as busy as I may be before work I grab my morning coffee with fruit or Egg sandwich and run. At work, I am usually very busy, but I have replaced the cheez-its with almonds granola bar or any fruit. On days off I love to dine out. Italian or Greek.”
In the little spare time that she does have Dr. Janette likes to relax and just have fun.
“ I enjoy going to the movies, Nets games, watching comedies and broadway shows; My all-time favorite show is Jersey Boys. I like spending time with my family in Nashville, especially to see my mom, who spoils me with the best middle eastern home-cooked meals like stuffed cabbage topped off with baklava or knafeh. I love to Volunteer for CHARM, “Children are Magical”, a nonprofit foundation, founded by my sister Jaclyn Stapp, which promotes and supports the needs of children from school supplies, book bags, hair cuts, food, etc. I love to hike, play bad golf at Chelsea Piers and love music. I come from a family of musicians. I enjoy live concerts, especially being with friends and family listening to Scott Stapp, who is the lead singer of the rock band Creed and also my brother in law. My sweet Lil nephew JonPaul is an incredibly talented musician singer- songwriter and college senior at Tennessee State University in Nashville. I love being an Aunt, my youngest nephew Anthony is the cutest baby ever and I’m about to become an aunt again as my sister-in-law Christine is due soon. It’s an exciting time for the family. I come from a very close nit family, if I’m not working, I’ll go to St. Patrick’s cathedral for Sunday church services.”
Her top health tips for our readers include a little common sense.
“ My best advice is to wash your hands and always cover your mouth when coughing/ sneezing, especially with flu season beginning. Also, remember to gel-in and gel-out using hand sanitizer when in public. I am excited about eating healthy, organic, and plant-based foods, not out of a box or bag. I ask my little cousins: What did you eat from the refrigerator today?
For someone so accomplished, Dr. Janette Nesheiwat still has even higher goals.
“ My dream was to become surgeon general of the US. My fantasy is to be a private doctor for Brad Pitt (just kidding). My goal is to host an Ask-a Doc show to educate the public and promote preventative medicine. I would also like to continue regular Medical missions to care for those in need.”
As for New York City, the Big Apple suits her just fine thank you!
“When I moved to the Big Apple from Arkansas, New York definitely left the lights on for me! And for the past 10 years, they’re still on. It’s amazing that any time of the day, no matter where I travel, I am drawn back to the people, the culture, the food, and even the madness!”