Dr. Jain was selected as Rising Star in Medicine by Medscape.
Shikha Jain, MD, looks to her father, who also is a physician, as a mentor in communication with patients.
“He has this amazing ability to explain complex things in simple ways,” she says. “My father always taught me that other than being a great clinician, you must be able to communicate what you’re trying to accomplish with your patients — so you’re a team.
Jain is a clinical academic gastrointestinal oncologist at the University of Illinois Cancer Center, and also the Center’s director of communications strategy and innovations. She works with her colleagues to study where patients are getting their information and then targets TV segments, social media, and email campaigns to reach them, she says.
“A lot of physicians go to TikTok to try to reach younger generations, or to Facebook to reach older generations,” says Jain, who completed her residency in 2011. “The challenge is with communities that don’t have access to those social media [platforms]. A lot of them get information from more traditional media, such as TV, newspapers, and radio.”
“There is a lot of mistrust about medicine,” Jain says, so she’s “finding ways to use modes of communication, and eventually AI, to reach those people.”
Jain also researches socioeconomic disparities in her patients, who often don’t have access to transportation or to devices that enable them to participate in telemedicine.
She says that working with cancer patients during her residency at the University of Illinois showed her how oncologists will try to find the resources to help patients bridge the gap.
“We’ve researched and discovered these amazing immunotherapy agents,” Jain says. “But the sad thing is, when you start looking at the disparities that exist, not everyone has the same level of care. And it’s something as simple as a patient who can’t get back and forth to their clinic appointments.”
As part of Medscape’s celebration of our 25th anniversary this year, we’re recognizing 25 young physicians who are rising stars in medicine, poised to become future leaders of their fields. View the full list here.”