October 10, 2016

Docs in the Bronx: Reasons to Celebrate

By
EDITOR’S NOTE: National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. In recognizing the healthcare contributions of Hispanics, ICD10monitor reached out to Andres Jimenez, MD. His story follows, as told to Chuck Buck.

He naturally considered being a physician. His father was a surgeon in the Republic of Colombia before immigrating to the United States. But when young Andres Jimenez was in high school, his career counselor suggested another profession instead.

“My guidance counselor thought becoming a doctor would be too difficult for me, and recommended instead I aim to become a nurse,” Jimenez said.  “Being a nurse is a great profession – my mother has been a nurse for over 30 years – but I thought I could do more.”

With a mother working as a nurse and a father now practicing in the U.S. and who would later retrain as a psychiatrist, the Jimenez siblings seemed to have had a natural inclination to practice medicine in this country. One became a neurosurgeon, and another an orthopedic spine surgeon.

“I was lucky to have two older brothers who were applying to medical school at the time who could mentor me,” Jimenez recalled. “Eventually, I made it to the Ivy League for medical school (combined program between Dartmouth and Brown); I am an alumnus of both.

The mentoring he received from his two older brothers found its way into his first book, which eventually morphed into something very special — a project for aspiring but disadvantaged pre-med students. 

Jimenez plunged headlong into mentoring as well, wherein for the past 10 years, he has mentored about 50-100 underprivileged pre-med high school students from the Bronx via an online program. 

“I created (the program) in partnership with the Bronx High School for Medical Science,” Jimenez said. “We already have graduates of our program who are doctors!” 

Jimenez had a nonprofit organization administer the program, but after the economic crash in 2008, funding stopped – so he has self-funded the program out of his own pocket ever since.

After completing medical school and two years of general surgery training, Jimenez began a PhD in education with an eye of academic surgery, but later focused on micro-learning for physician training. 

In 2009, Jimenez left the PhD program to launch his present company, ImplementHIT. 

“Our micro-learning training platform has been used by physicians in over 1,000 hospitals and clinics, including the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the U.S., Dignity Health,” Jimenez said. “Also, the ICD-10 training program (of which) I was the lead author, AHIMA (the American Health Information Management Association) white-labelled (it) exclusively for physicians.” 

Jimenez said his program was one of only two commercial physician ICD-10 programs endorsed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the 2015 transition.   

“We now have the largest micro-learning library for physicians and nurses accredited for continuing medical education (CME), expanding beyond CDI, into performance and compliance training, Jimenez said. “We are blessed that our company is growing extremely fast.”

Meanwhile, Jimenez noted with pride that his father, 83, only recently year retired from practice.

Salud!
Chuck Buck

Chuck Buck is the publisher of ICD10monitor and is the executive producer and program host of Talk Ten Tuesdays.

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