Born to Stand Out


Last Updated on October 20, 2020

Jessica Fernandez sometimes looks through a microscope — and sometimes feels as if she’s under one. At just 4 feet 2 inches tall, this doctor knows that she doesn’t look like her fellow medical school professionals. And that’s OK.

“Why would I want to fit in when I was born to stand out?” she asks Growing Bolder.

Jessica was diagnosed with Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia at just 3 years old. It’s a rare genetic disorder that essentially means that she stopped growing. But she never stopped chasing her dreams.

Fernandez, who graduated from the the UCF College of Medicine in 2018, has been matched with her top choice for her residency training: Jefferson Medical College’s duPoint Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. It happens to be one of only three pediatric physical medicine and rehabilitation positions in the country that train doctors to care for children with conditions like Jessica’s, and is just the latest example of her determination to find and follow her purpose.

Learn more about Jessica’s journey here.