Julie (Jervis) Gibson, M.D., ’88, Forensic Pathology


While applying to medical school, Dr. Gibson, then a NICU nurse at St. John's Hospital, faced a choice: go to medical school or accept an offer to pose as a Playboy Playmate. Luckily, she chose medical school. Trained in forensic pathology and pediatrics, she has been a provider for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services for 12 years with deployment to disasters for both mass fatalities and mass injuries. She spent 2 1⁄2 months at the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks and spent seven weeks helping Hurricane Katrina victims. She now is chief forensic officer for Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team for weapons of mass destruction incidents – rescue and recovery. Closer to her home in rural Arizona, Dr. Gibson is an armed volunteer with the local sheriff's office to evacuate residents during forest fires and provide security at events for 10 years.

She works in pediatric urgent care, testifies in child abuse cases and works in child abuse centers. She teaches medical students (DO) at AT Still University in Mesa, Arizona, since the school opened in 2007. She teaches with her former SIU immunology professor Ed Motika, Ph.D. She's also a skilled online educator, writing and teaching a forensic nursing program and teaching emergency preparedness. She's also engaged in programs to encourage teenagers to enter forensic careers and pediatrics.

Married to a death investigator and disaster teammate, Jeff Gibson, the couple shares eight children, ages 18-33. She has five grandchildren.