Dr. Maria Jerardi and her family have recently moved back to Fresno, CA, from Stuttgart, Germany, where her husband, LCDR Doug Peterson ’94, was stationed with US European Command.
The couple enjoyed their time abroad with their two young children, but Maria is looking forward to the end of her sabbatical and returning to her medical practice. A family practitioner, Maria is practicing with a women’s medical group in Fresno.
Maria, who earned a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University and a medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, spent three years in a family medicine residency program in Merced, California, where the emphasis was on obstetrics, pediatrics and emergency medicine.
As part of the National Health Service Corps, which funded her medical training, Maria was providing primary health care to an under-served community where three-quarters of the population speaks Spanish. Mendota, touted as the “Cantaloupe Center of the World,” has attracted agricultural workers from Guatemala, Ecuador, Mexico and other Latin American countries.
For Maria, her medical practice is the culmination of a lifelong dream to help others.
“I really loved the sciences, but I didn’t want to spend my life in the lab,” Maria recalls of her decision to practice medicine. “One of the nice things about doing premed at Washington College is that you can study other things, too. I’ve encountered a lot of medical students who, in premed programs at larger schools, had taken only biology and chemistry classes. There’s a real benefit to being well-rounded.”
As an undergraduate, Maria played field hockey and coxed for the rowing team, participated in sorority activities and in student government, and lived in the International House. She spent a semester in Africa and, after graduation, won a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct data analysis on nutrition in Asia.