By Robby Bosshardt, M.D. and Jori May, M.D.

Juanita2Juanita Heersink has called Alabama home for the majority of her life. After moving around the country for her father's military career, Juanita and her family settled in Montgomery. She found her way to Birmingham as an undergraduate at UAB where she earned a degree in Engineering and met her husband, Bayne, a graduate of UAB's School of Dentistry.

After graduation, Juanita lived and studied Spanish in Granada, Spain for 4 months before returning to Birmingham, where she, worked at a local non-profit organization and got involved in the burgeoning food access scene. She considered pursuing careers in social work and public health, but ultimately decided to channel her desire to help others into a career in medicine. She graduated from University of Alabama School of Medicine and then joined the UAB Internal Medicine residency program.

As a resident at UAB, Juanita discovered her love for geriatric medicine. She explains that she was drawn to the field because she enjoys spending time with elderly patients and always appreciates the stories they share. She also relishes the challenge of dealing with the complex interplay of the multiple social and medical problems that many geriatric patients face. In July 2014, she will join the Geriatric fellowship program at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
Among the residents, Juanita is known for her kind manner and her great sense of style. Aside from building her medical career during residency, Juanita also found time to build her family, as she and her husband have an adorable 15-month old daughter, Maeve Scout.

A few quick facts about Juanita (loosely adapted from James Lipton of Inside the Actors Studio):
- What is your favorite medical word? Jargon
- What is your least favorite medical word? Phlegm
- What is your favorite part of residency? My co-residents
- What is your least favorite part of residency? Overnight call
- What hospital sound or noise do you love? Shammah's laugh[ (]
- What hospital sound or noise do you hate? The sound of ventilator alarms in the ICU
- What is your favorite thing about Birmingham? The food (and the people, of course)
- What profession other than physician would you like to attempt? A baker
- What profession would you not like to do? A lawyer
- As you leave residency and head off to fellowship, what would you like to hear Doctors Heudbert and Willett say to you as you go? "We've enjoyed teaching you. Now go and make UAB proud!"