Meet Alexis Pitcairn-Ramirez, CRNP
Alexis Pitcairn-Ramirez, CRNP, is an obstetrics and gynecology nurse practitioner at Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia. She sees patients at 7131 Frankford Ave. in Mayfair and 5501 Old York Road on the hospital campus.
We spoke with Ms. Pitcairn-Ramirez recently about her career, her interests and her role in obstetrics and gynecology at Einstein.
Q: When did you decide to become a nurse practitioner?
A: I don’t know the exact time, but it was probably after college. I had gotten my first degree in health policy and administration and I was not super happy at my job. I thought I wanted to work in public health or government, and I may again someday, but at the time I realized I really loved working with people and patients, and I was removed from that working in an office.
I was working at Abington Hospital, mostly with patient safety concerns and quality assurance issues and audits. It’s important and necessary work, but just wasn’t right for me at the time.
All my favorite people that I worked with were nurses. So it seemed like a no-brainer for me to go to nursing school. My BSN and MSN are both from the University of Pennsylvania.
Q: Why did you choose to be a nurse practitioner?
A: I wanted to work with patients in a different way and be autonomous. I liked the idea of making the diagnosis.
Q: For people who don’t know, how do you explain the role of a nurse practitioner?
A: I usually say I’m a medical provider who functions independently and in collaboration with doctors. And then I often give examples of what I do. I write prescriptions, I see patients, I do procedures, I order lab tests, but I don’t do surgery or deliver babies.
Q: Do most people know or understand what a nurse practitioner does?
A: Not everyone knows what I do or what the differences are between a nurse practitioner and a doctor. Sometimes someone will ask if they will see a doctor after talking to me. And I usually say you will see me and the physician if needed; we work together as a team.
Q: Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are similar. How did you decide which path to take?
A: My end goal was to be a medical provider, and nurse practitioners and physician assistants are both providers, but I aligned with the nursing model, which tends to be a more holistic approach and interested in the sociology behind medical care and more community based. I like looking at and considering where people live, what access they have to health care and to healthy food and things like that.
Q: What drew you to Einstein?
A: I started here as a nurse practitioner in March 2017 and I’m still here, so that’s a good sign. I grew up in the Philly area and knew about Einstein. I like the diverse population we serve, the OBGYN team works well together, and the department has a growth approach about how to better serve the community. Plus, during my interview with Dr. David Jaspan, [Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Einstein Healthcare Network,] he was very open to different ideas, and that attracted me here, too.
Q: What are your clinical interests?
A: Women’s health, prenatal care, mood disorders and mental health issues for women. I’m a provider in our pregnancy program, which is the CenteringPregnancy® group for prenatal care at the main campus. We function as a team in collaboration with doctors. For example, it’s common for us to be really fluid in referring patients to one another. For surgery, patients go to the doctors, but everyone knows that I really like working with teenage girls and with women who are dealing with substance abuse issues, so those patients may be referred to me.
Q; Who was your greatest influence?
A: Professionally, my advisor during my nursing and nurse practitioner degrees was a great influence. Her name is Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos. She took me under her wing and questioned me and pushed me to think in different ways and to ask different questions and to see things through different lenses.
Q: Who is the person you would most like to meet?
A: This will sound like a cliché, but I really want to meet Michelle Obama. She seems amazing.
Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: I read all the time so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but one book that I reread is Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. I love the story, and how she tells it, and it feels just as relevant today as when it was written in the 1930s. I read mostly fiction, but also stuff for work. I have a baby, so I’ve had to cut back into my reading time a lot.
Q: Do you have a favorite sports team?
A: I am a big fan of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team.
Q: Do you have a vacation spot you love?
A: Anywhere near water. My husband is Colombian and we are going to visit his family soon, so we’ll be by the beach. It will be the first time for our son to be on a beach.
Q; What is something that people might not know about you?
A: I like to dance to Latin music and I speak Spanish.
Find out more about Einstein Obstetrics and Gynecology.