Jernigan graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1975 and went on to earn a doctorate in medicine from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1979. He completed his residency and fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has practiced internal medicine for more than 31 years. His medical career has included serving as a clinical assistant professor of medicine in UAB’s Montgomery Internal Medicine Residency Program.
For more than 15 years, he has trained countless other internal medicine physicians who now practice throughout the country, as well as more than 30 nurse practitioners through programs at Troy University, Samford University, and UAB. He has also mentored several students attending Auburn University. He has conducted clinical trials on new drugs in the center that he organized, the Mulberry Clinical Research Center.
Throughout his career, Jernigan has been an active member of the Medical Association of Alabama and the American Society of Internal Medicine, and he has served as vice president of the Alabama State Medical Association. He has been a past president and vice president of the Montgomery County Medical Association. He volunteers with the Auburn University Cooperative Extension Service by giving lectures on prostate cancer and health screenings across the state. He has two sons: John Arbry, who earned a bachelor’s in software engineering in 2004; and Jacob, who is pursuing a degree in physical activity and health within the College of Education.