By Kim Lee
Growing up in Montana, Jessica Reissig dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. However, her stepfather, a retired cardiothoracic surgeon, convinced her to go to medical school. “I still love animals but I’m happy he steered me in this direction,” she reflected.
Reissig, a Seeley Lake native, chose to remain in the Rockies region to attend college and medical school, completing both a Bachelor of Science degree and Bachelor of Arts degree at Montana State University in Bozeman, followed by a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Parker, Colorado.
But her medical residency would send her much further away–across the country to Plainview, New York, where she completed her residency in orthopedic surgery at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Plainview, followed by a fellowship at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
As a medical student, Reissig was decidedly involved in organizations and activities, including the Student Osteopathic Medical Association and the Student American Academy of Osteopathy. Additionally, she volunteered at community health fairs, as a mentor to incoming students and helped lobby for health care issues in Washington, D.C.
Professionally, she’s given her time to a women’s crisis center; as a team physician for the New York Lizards, a major league lacrosse team in Long Island, New York; and lent expertise on planning committees for conferences. She’s also currently a member of the American Osteopathic Association.
Reissig explains why she chose the foot and ankle specialty: “It’s one of the only specialties in orthopedics that incorporates all the different procedures–sports procedures, joint replacements, fusion surgery. It is incredibly gratifying to help people get back to doing activities they love!”
Yankton Medical Clinic patients who see Reissig can expect that passion and her personal philosophy to come through at every visit. “I am dedicated to discovering the underlying diagnosis for the pain the patient is experiencing,” she explains. “I will exhaust all nonoperative measures available before indicating a patient for a surgical procedure.”
It was during college at Montana State that Reissig met her husband, Josh, who has family in and around Yankton. The couple has a young daughter, Hannah, who Reissig says is “an absolute joy,” and a “sweet, lazy” dog named Otis.
Her hobbies of CrossFit, hiking, horseback riding, cooking and yoga occupy her time outside the clinic. She’s participated in the CrossFit Open, a worldwide competition, every year since getting involved in CrossFit. “I’m certainly not anywhere near the top, but it is always a lot of fun. Last year I did it eight weeks pregnant and this year I did it five months postpartum!” she says.
Reissig, born in Germany, grew up in a bilingual household. “My mom, sister and I only speak German to each other,” she explains. “Now my sister and I are both exclusively speaking German to our children as well.”
Scuba diving is another passion of hers, and she was certified by her sister, a former scuba diving instructor, who lives in Grand Cayman. “It’s a great activity that we get to do together. Being under the water is like seeing a completely different world,” she says.
Dr. Reissig will start seeing patients September 1.
This article was originally published in the Yankton Medical Clinic Newsletter.