Dr. Jenni Bradley
Jenni L. Bradley, MD, MPH has professional interests in normal and high-risk obstetrics, as well as all types of gynecologic surgery. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences from Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY. She subsequently earned her master’s degree in public health, majoring in nutrition with an emphasis in both maternal and infant nutrition and epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. She then graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed her OB/Gyn residency at the University of Minnesota and its seven affiliated hospitals in the Twin Cities.
I am a native Idahoan, grew up right here in Boise, ID. I grew up swimming for the Boise Y Swim Team and graduated from Boise High School. Go Boise Brave! My first official job was a paper carrier for the Idaho Statesman. I delivered papers before going in to morning swim practice, starting in 7th grade. I later worked as a lifeguard, swim lesson instructor and swim coach at Hillcrest Country Club and was a patient safety attendant at St Luke's. I was recruited to swim for Cornell University, so I ventured across the country to go to college in Ithaca, NY. Go Big Red!
I started out studying Human Biology in Society but took a nutrition class my freshman year that I loved... so I changed my major to nutritional sciences. I was fascinated with how nutrition could have a significant role in athletic performance, but also how important it is in disease prevention. I was particularly drawn to the study of international nutrition and maternal/infant nutrition. In my senior year, I was given the opportunity to do nutrition counseling for varsity athletes and to be a writer / researcher for an online question/answer nutrition resource called Nutriquest.
After graduation, I started a master's program in public health nutrition and was grateful to receive a fellowship in maternal and infant nutrition at the University of Minnesota. Go Gophers! I was grateful to work with the researchers that discovered the prenatal benefits of folic acid (in preventing neural tube defects) and also with researchers doing work-related to nutritional prevention of cardiovascular disease in India. My husband and I did some short term missionary work in Romania and I volunteered at a hospice that was next door to our first apartment.
Halfway through my master's program, I had on my heart to consider pursuing a Ph.D. to further this research, or to pursue medical school so I'd have the opportunity to work directly with patients. A good friend of ours was in medical school at the time and he encouraged me to pursue medicine by saying, "You can be a doctor and still have a family/be present for those you love". So..., I took Physics and the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test), completed my MPH (Masters Degree in Public Health), and worked with an Internal Medicine Physician doing research at the VA in Minneapolis for one year while I applied to Medical School.
I was accepted (hooray hooray) at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Go Gophers!
At first, I thought I would be a Pediatrician. I met a Neonatologist, Michael Georgiff, and began doing some amazing research with him looking at Iron transport across the placenta. In my second year of medical school, I considered Dermatology because I loved being able to look at the skin and diagnose what was going on inside the body. My first rotation, my third year of medical school was general surgery. I thought... "I have a lot of energy and excitement about starting clinical rotations... I'll do surgery first to get it out of the way". However, I found that I LOVE surgery. Trouble... surgery wasn't/isn't known for being family-friendly and had a really long residency. Maybe... I could find a specialty that was surgical but was a little more family-friendly. I knew deep down that I would love OB & GYN surgery, but still didn't really want to love it for those same reasons. Maybe Derm would be enough surgery for me.
I then got pregnant in my third year of medical school... we were living on a budget with lots of student loans, but I still felt hugely motivated by my unborn child/pregnancy to optimize my nutrition. However, even with all of my background knowledge/studies in nutrition, I felt like there was much for me to learn on a practical "let's put this knowledge to work" level, while I was pregnant. Easier said than done. We did opt for organic milk and tried to have organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. I had very little time for exercise in medical school. I ended up developing severe pre-eclampsia at 27 weeks and delivered my first daughter at 28 weeks because of this pregnancy-related condition. This was not part of our plan but was such a pivotal part of our journey. I had to be a patient for the first time in my life and entrust my (and my daughter's) well being to the physicians and nurses taking care of us.
It really did give me pause... and allowed me to think and pray about WHY I was pursuing medicine. At that point, we had a lot of debt, so it wasn't an option to stop and stay at home... though on many days my heart wanted to do just that.
It just so happened that my next scheduled rotation was OBGYN... remember I knew I would love it, but didn't want to... for lifestyle reasons. I ended up starting my rotation when my daughter was still in the NICU. We would visit her very early in the morning before I went to the hospital and again until very late at night after the end of my workday at Hennepin County Medical Center. The OBGYN team that I worked with at HCMC was more than amazing! They were very supportive of me during the rotation and even let me leave to visit my daughter if we had a slow day on Labor and Delivery. Halfway through the rotation, I knew my heartstrings were being pulled in the OBGYN direction. My daughter came home from the hospital the same day I finished my rotation. What an amazing blessing!
It was without question a difficult year and I think I struggled with some un-diagnosed postpartum depression. It was really hard to not know how she was going to do... if she would struggle with cerebral palsy or other known conditions associated with prematurity and low birth weight.
I decided to extend my fourth year of medical school into two years because I wanted to have more time at home with her, we wanted to try to have a second child (so I wouldn't risk being on bed rest or delivering early again during residency), and to have time to finalize our decision about which specialty I would pursue. Again, it was not part of my plan but such a valuable part of our journey.
Thankfully, we were able to get pregnant again when my first daughter was six months old. Two pregnancies in two years... I know some people thought we were a little crazy to consider it.
After much thought and prayer, I ended up applying for OBGYN residency. I really in many ways felt called to this specialty and it just seemed to make sense to pursue it. We stayed in Minnesota for residency and my husband chose to start a business so he could pursue his dream to be an entrepreneur and also so he could have more flexibility with his schedule while I was working 80 hours per week.
In my third year of residency, I had the opportunity to do a rotation abroad or outside of the seven hospitals we worked at in the Twin Cities. I was deciding between doing a rotation in the Congo, Africa (working with women who needed surgery for fistula repair), or coming back to Boise to do a rotation at St. Lukes.
We decided to head this way and I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the amazing physicians and surgeons we have here locally. My husband was able to continue his work from Boise and also mountain bike, which was a big part of our decision to move back home.
We have been back in the Treasure Valley since 2008 and have loved it here! As we have settled in, I have continued to have a passion for helping patients and the community optimize their well being, health, and nutrition, especially before, during, and after pregnancy. I'm hoping that this website/blog will be a useful tool/resource to help you do that on your journey!
Bradley, J., Leibold, E.A., Harris, Z.L., Wobken, J.D., Clarke, S., Zumbrennen, K.B., Eisenstein, R.S., & Georgieff, M.K. The Influence of Gestational Age and Fetal Iron Status on Iron Regulatory Protein Activity and Iron Transporter Protein Expression in Third Trimester Human Placenta. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2004 Oct;287(4):R894-901.
Bradley JL, Brown JE, Himes JH. Reliability and validity of parental measurements of infant size. Am J Human Biol. 2001 Mar-Apr;13(2):275-9.
Borowsky S, Nelson D, Nugent S, Bradley J, Hamann P, Stolee C, Rubins H. Transferring From VA to Community-Based Outpatient Clinics: Which Veterans Will Switch? Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 2002: 13(3), 334-346.
Borowsky S, Nelson D, Fortney J, Hedeen A, Bradley J, Chapko M. VA Community-Based Outpatient Clinics: Patient Satisfaction. Medical Care 2002: 40(7), 578-586.
Medical School Awards:
Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Medical Society
Medical School Student Achievement Award
Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citation
Minnesota Medical Foundation Student Research Grant
Public Health Honors/Awards:
Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society
Bureau of Maternal and Child Health Traineeship in Maternal and Child Nutrition
Cornell Tradition Fellowship Scholarship
College of Human Ecology Dean’s Scholar
Cornell University Dean’s List
Medical School Honors:
ObGyn, Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine I, Internal Medicine II, Neurology
Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Surgical Pathology, Dermatology, Advanced Dermatology, Pediatric research, and Dermatology research
2nd year overall honors, Pathology, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Microbiology