Meet Stephanie Jones, MD
By Christie Roy
As a staff anesthesiologist who specializes in weight loss surgery, Stephanie Jones, MD, is an integral part of the bariatric team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She knows how much everyone she works with in the operating room appreciates every detail involved in a single procedure.
“The teamwork in the bariatric operating room is fun to be a part of,” Stephanie says. “It’s not just about the surgical procedure, it’s about safe administration of anesthesia, positioning the patient to avoid injury to the patient and caregivers, easing the patient’s anxiety and making them feel safe.”
Anesthesiology wasn’t even on Stephanie’s radar when she initially headed off to college; she was sure she was going to become a biochemical scientist.
“But then I found that working in a lab for the rest of my life wasn’t as interesting an idea as I thought it might be,” she says.
Stephanie switched gears and decided to go to Washington University School of Medicine, but it was still awhile before she considered anesthesiology.
“My husband, who was a surgical resident at the time, suggested I take a look at the specialty when I was a senior medical student,” she says. “Turns out he knows me pretty well!”
Stephanie initially became involved with anesthesia for bariatric surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center more than 15 years ago. The bariatric program at Parkland Hospital in Dallas was just beginning to develop, and, looking back, she is proud to have “gotten in on the ground floor” of such an important clinical area.
“Then I came to Boston just in time to participate in the creation of one of the first guidelines for weight loss surgery, through the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety,” Stephanie adds. “The Betsy Lehman report influenced many of the guidelines going forward, including accreditation standards for bariatric surgery centers of excellence.”
Stephanie has enjoyed working in the operating rooms at BIDMC for the past 11 years, taking care of patients undergoing many different procedures, including bariatric surgeries. She is also an Associate Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School, and the Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine at BIDMC.
“I’m responsible for overseeing the educational mission of my department, ranging from medical student education to residency and fellowship training to faculty development,” Stephanie explains. “The people at BIDMC are great. I get to work with talented clinicians on a daily basis while training the next generation of anesthesiologists.”
Stephanie recognizes that teaching her residents, local colleagues, and national peers about optimizing anesthetic care for obese patients undergoing bariatric or other surgeries has become an important role for her. She is currently serving as president of the International Society for the Perioperative Care of the Obese Patient (ISPCOP), which works to improve surgical outcomes and care for patients with obesity.
Stephanie manages to stay busy outside of work too, though she does get to see a lot of her husband — it may be a common last name, but yes, Stephanie has been married to Dr. Daniel Jones, bariatric surgeon and Director of BIDMC’s Weight Loss Surgery Center, for 25 years.
“We met long before BIDMC, in college at Cornell University,” she says. “We have three great kids who are all away at school now, so we’ve been getting to spend more time with just ‘us,’ going to the theater, movies, and sporting events. Our two daughters are very talented lacrosse players, so a lot of weekends are spent traveling to practices, games, and tournaments.”