Young Joyce Brown always knew she wanted to be a doctor — but she can’t explain exactly why.
Now known as Dr. Brown, she works as clinical assistant professor at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, based in Harlem. In addition to coordinating four courses, she writes scripts for actors who portray patients in sensitivity-training sessions, works with high-tech mannequins that feign human symptoms, and spends much of her time mentoring and counseling students, many of them black and Latino.
“I get to do all the fun stuff,” she says.
Originally from Baltimore, she attended the Conservative movement’s Solomon Schechter elementary school for several years (though she now considers herself Reform). As a youngster, her family “adopted” several Jewish émigrés from the former Soviet Union, taking them shopping and to synagogue, and helping them acculturate into American society.
Brown studied at The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Me., (she liked the school’s humanistic approach) and worked in emergency medicine for several years in Pennsylvania. She started teaching part time a few years ago at Touro’s Harlem branch. Though the institution is under Jewish auspices with a mezuzah on every doorpost, “I love the fact that the school isn’t just a Jewish school.”
The doctor in her misses practicing medicine. She’s about to start working Sundays at a local emergency room.
The animal lover in her misses contact with the four-legged set. She’s volunteered for the Jewish Association for Services to the Aged’s PETS (Pets and Elder Team Support program), walking the dogs of senior citizens (the majority of whom are Jewish) for weekly walks. “Helping people — that’s my first passion,” Brown says. “I’m happiest when I’m managing 12 things at once.”
Theater lover...: An avid theater-goer, Brown and her husband Jeremy Kraus were attending a Saturday night play last month when police discovered explosives, planted by a terrorist, in a van on West 45th Street
... and athlete: Brown competed in soccer and lacrosse at the State University of New York at Binghamton.
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