Talk to Dr. Brandi Alexander about why she chose family medicine as her specialty and she quickly says she loves being able to care for patients that range from the very young to seniors.
“It provides the variety I need to remain stimulated by my everyday work,” she said.
The UNLV Medicine Family Medicine Clinic at 1524 Pinto Lane, where Alexander sees patients, handles thousands of patient visits per year, including expectant mothers, children, adults and the elderly. Also under its healthcare umbrella is the UNLV Medicine Sports Medicine Clinic, whose doctors also treat members of the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team and the Las Vegas Aviators Triple A minor league baseball club.
In addition to treating and diagnosing illness, Alexander and her colleagues provide preventive care, including routine checkups, health-risk assessments, immunization and screening tests and personalized counseling on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They also manage chronic illness, often coordinating care provided by other subspecialists.
From diabetes, cancer and asthma to hypertension, stroke and heart disease, UNLV Medicine family physicians provide ongoing personal care for the country’s most serious health problems, referring patients when necessary to another specialist for treatment.
An assistant professor with the UNLV School of Medicine since November, Alexander literally grew up around the practice of medicine.
Her mother was a secretary at a Union City, TN hospital, so seeing doctors and nurses was as common for Alexander as seeing trees or cars driving down the street.
“I visited my mom all the time at the hospital as a little girl,” she said. “I don’t know exactly when I decided to become a doctor but it just seemed like it would be a natural part of life to me.”
Her interest in medicine and science only grew stronger, she notes, when an aunt bought her a science kit from a JC Penney catalogue that contained a microscope and slides.
“It was something I really wanted but it seemed very expensive at the time,” Alexander recalled.
“I just loved it. It helped me see things in so many different ways.”
Academics were always important in the Alexander household.
“As far as I can remember, my mom took the time to read to me and help me with spelling words…she never turned down the opportunity to stay at the library with me for hours while I searched for books to read. I do come from a family of readers. My grandmother had two bookcases with hundreds of books she’d read twice over.”