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The Medicine Mentors Podcast

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Interviewing physician leaders to tap into their wisdom


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Interviewing physician leaders to tap into their wisdom




Finding Balance During Rush Hour with Dr. Annie Im

Annie Im, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She is also the Program Director for Hematology & Oncology Fellowship program. Her research is focused in hematologic malignancies, drug development, stem cell transplantation, and graft-versus-host-disease. She received her medical degree from Stony Brook School of Medicine in New York, and then completed both her residency in internal medicine and her hematology/oncology fellowship from UPMC. “I think the most impressive thing is when a physician can make you feel like you’re the most important person in that moment.” Encouraging us to go the extra mile for patients by being present, Dr. Annie Im joins us in this episode of the Medicine Mentors as we discuss the fine details of empowering patients by giving them our full presence. Tune in as Dr. Im spreads the message of staying present for all parts of our lives, reminding us that we won’t escape the rush hour busyness of physician life but that by being present we can learn to find a balance that works for any given moment. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Even though you might be busy in your day, your patients will remember you as you are in the time that you meet with them. So be sure to stay focused and present so they can feel like they’re the most important person to you at that moment. 2. When finding a work-life balance, think of it like rush hour traffic. Sometimes it will be easy to balance things and move with ease, but it’s important to know that there will be times in your career when work or your personal life will take precedence and need more attention. The key is to find balance in all of those phases. 3. Whether it’s research, personal life, or career trajectory, mentors don’t all come with the same expertise so be sure to find a variety of mentors that can help you in each part of your life. 4. The onus is on the mentee to reach out to a mentor so when looking out for hiccups in the relationship, stay empathetic and realize that a mentor will have their own business and may not tend to every need. Long lasting relationships require work but pay off in the long run. 5. Successful people are those that find their drive through passion. Seeing that extra patient and going the extra mile isn’t just about dedication but also passion. When working passionately, things like burnout and work-life balance become easy.


Passion, Persistence, and Patience with Dr. Robert Brodsky

Robert Brodsky, MD, is a world-renowned hematologist and the current Director of the Division of Hematology, as well as Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He focuses on bone marrow failure states, specifically the use of bone marrow transplants in sickle cell disease and aplastic anemia. His lab studies complement mediated disorders and he has also developed the diagnostic assay that is used to diagnose PNH around the world. Dr. Brodsky is a recipient of numerous national awards and was recently elected as the President of the American Society of Hematology, the largest professional society of hematologists in the world. “I remember driving down 83. I just couldn't wait to get into work…that excitement, that flutter in your heart, that's what defines success for me.” A sentiment passed down through now three generations of hematologists, Dr. Robert Brodsky, Director of the Division of Hematology at Johns Hopkins and President of the American Society of Hematology, joins us for a grounding conversation. Tune in as we dive into the leaders that showed him what it truly means to love your job, how asking the right research questions is the biggest predictor of success, and why it takes decades to build a career that’s worth having. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Work-life balance is not every day. That is a critical distinction to understand, that overall, our lives should be balanced, but it's not an expectation we should come to work with every day. We should try to achieve the work-life balance globally, but not in a day-to-day, hour-to-hour fashion. 2. What is one of the biggest predictors of success? We connect it to the purpose behind the project: the Research Question. That's going to start the journey and create the flutter for us to come to work and pursue something that's actually going to have a meaningful change. 3. Life is likely to get more complicated as we move forward. The difficulty levels keep going up as we go to the next level, and therefore, if there's not a strong force driving us, we should not get to the next level just for the sake of getting there. It should be to reach an ultimate goal.


A Balancing Act with Dr. Amy Jones

Amy Jones, MD, is the Program Director of Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She also serves as the Medical Director of the Inpatient Hematology-Oncology Unit for the Parkland Health & Hospital System. She is a founding Co-Chair of the Parkland Cancer Improvement Committee and a recipient of the Niarchos Grant for Quality Improvement through ASCO. She serves on the Cancer in People with HIV/Kaposi Sarcoma Panel of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Dr. Jones has delivered a number of invited lectures and published numerous academic articles, and she serves as a course director for medical education at the fellowship and medical student levels. “You can be a mom and hang out with your kids, have a husband who loves smoking meat, and still be a complete boss at work.” Between brisket and directing the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at UT Southwestern, Dr. Amy Jones teaches us a thing or two about keeping our hearts and minds full. Join us in this motivating episode with Dr. Jones, as she takes us through her earliest inspirations and how they’ve instilled in her a sense of service while making sure she has time to fill her own cup. Tune in as we talk about recharging our batteries and leaning on mentors, learning how to take charge as a mentee keeping your torch lit, and why it’s crucial to be able to tell your story. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. A good mentee is one that is honest about what they want and can take their goals across the finish line. Drive the relationship even when it’s uncomfortable because that’s what it takes for success. 2. When looking to the future, ask yourself what you dream of in a job and what your day-to-day life might look like. Write a letter that starts with who you are and what you’ve done, ending with where you’re going and how you’ll get there. 3. Balance is key for a long career. Because you have an ability to give back you also have the responsibility to serve, but in order to serve you have to be able to care for yourself, too.


Going Further Together with Dr. Adam Brufsky

Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also the co-director of the Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center, and the Associate Director of Clinical Investigation at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. He is a prolific researcher and is actively involved in national oncology organizations. On the path to being a doctor, getting caught up in the race of seeking credit and finding validation is easy. Here to remind us that true success in medicine means “affecting the lives of the people [we] care for and being a reliable source of help,” Dr. Adam Brufsky joins us on this episode of The Medicine Mentors. Tune in as we take a page from Dr. Brufsky’s book and learn why “you’ll get a lot more done in science and medicine if you don’t care as much about who gets the credit.” Pearls of Wisdom: 1. During training and throughout your tenure as a physician, getting credit seems to be a race to the finish. But you’ll go further for longer if instead you support your peers and learn to put credit to the side; don’t miss the forest for the trees. 2. It’s easy to feel intimidated when reaching out for support, but remember that those in high positions only got there by standing on the shoulders of giants. Speak up and reach out and you’ll find most people will happily oblige. 3. Two principles every good mentor must follow are: being a role model in every aspect, from work-life balance to professional candor; and being present for a mentee despite the circumstance even if just to listen. 4. Two principles every good mentee must follow are: showing interest and involvement by following through on opportunities; and understanding when to say no, which is something a mentor could help with.


Looking Back to Move Forward with Dr. Ralph Hruban

Ralph Hruban, MD, is a world-renowned pancreatic cancer pathology expert. He serves as the Baxley Professor and Director of the Department of Pathology, and Director of the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Cancer Research Center at Johns Hopkins University. He co-founded the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry at Johns Hopkins in 1994, created an award-winning iPad application to teach pancreas pathology and an iPad and iPhone app for patients with pancreatic cancer. Dr. Hruban has authored more than 850 peer-reviewed manuscripts and ten books, including the standard textbook on pancreatic pathology (the AFIP Fascicle on Tumors of the Pancreas) and the World Health Organization “blue book” on tumors of the digestive tract. He has received numerous awards including the PanCAN Medical Visionary Award and the Ruth C. Brufsky Award of Excellence in Clinical Research for Pancreatic Cancer. How did modern medicine get to where it is today? As much as it’s about scientific advances, it’s just as much about the people who overcame extreme hardships and helped forge not only advances in diagnostics and medicine, but also values and ethics of the medical profession. In this episode, Dr. Ralph Hruban highlights some of the pioneers of early American medicine from his new book, A Scientific Revolution: Ten Men and Women Who Reinvented American Medicine. Listen in as Dr. Hruban provides a fascinating glimpse into the trials and tribulations of America’s medical founders who played a fundamental role in transforming medicine from a trade into a science. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Not taking no for answer is the ultimate quintessential quality that we have seen in all of these medical pioneers who have been faced with hardships. 2. It’s important to reflect on where science would be today had the barriers of racism and sexism not been present. 3. Our current medical mentors fill an important role but there’s also value in historical mentors that help remind us of the medical professionals we aspire to be like.


Mentorship: The Holy Grail of Medicine with Dr. Pier Paolo Scaglioni

Pier Paolo Scaglioni, MD, is the Herbert F. Koch Professor of Medicine and Director of the Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Cincinnati. He also serves as the Associate Director for translational research at the University of Cincinnati Cancer Center. Dr. Scaglioni is a physician-scientist and leads a cancer biology research laboratory along with a clinical practice in malignant hematology. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institutes. What is the most prized possession of Medicine? As Dr. Scaglioni puts it, "Mentorship is the Holy Grail of Medicine." But does it end there? Mentors have different facets to their personalities. How can a mentee distinguish and absorb those traits that are tailored to their own clinical practice? Furthermore, can a mentee navigate the wilderness of academia without a mentor? To answer these critical questions, we are joined by Dr. Pier Paolo Scaglioni, Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, on today's episode of Medicine Mentors. Tune in for more. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Mentorship is the holy grail of medicine. A mentor’s role is to help you facilitate the trajectory of your career and allow you to navigate its wilderness. 2. Mentorship brings different perspectives to the relationship. A mentee should be able to troubleshoot themselves out of default mode and try more enterprising ventures with the hand of a mentor steering their way. 3. Passion and commitment are the two predictors of success that are often reflected in our actions.


Escaping the Bunker Mentality with Dr. Janet Abrahm

Janet Abrahm, MD, is a nationally recognized expert in Palliative Medicine and Oncology and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School where she has been practicing at Dana Farber Cancer Institute for over 20 years. She has authored “The Comprehensive Guide to Supportive and Palliative Care in Patients with Cancer.” She was recently recognized with the 2022 AAHPM Award for Teaching and Mentoring and the Dana Farber’s Edward Benz Award for Mentorship of Women in Medicine. “It's good to trust yourself, to have the courage of your convictions. But also be aware that it can lead you to not listen to criticism when you need to. Being a pioneer is a double-edged sword.” Dr. Janet Abrahm talks with us on walking the fine line between being confident and yet receptive to feedback. In this episode of The Medicine Mentors, nationally recognized mentor Dr. Janet Abrahm shares key insights on honing our ability to trust ourselves, combining feedback with self-confidence to reach better decisions and in the process escaping the bunker mentality. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Being a pioneer means trusting yourself but also reaching out to mentors and being open to feedback. You might think you’re the only one out there on the cutting edge but staying open and engaging with colleagues can reveal valuable and productive relationships you’d never imagine. 2. Just because you have an inclination doesn’t mean it’s a limitation. Recognize it now and be able to work with that and turn it into a strength as you move forward. 3. In order to continually progress in life, ask yourself these questions at regular intervals: Who am I? Am I happy or satisfied? Can and should I be doing this for five more years?


Be Present, Passionate, and Purposeful with Dr. Richard Riedel

Richard Francis Riedel, M.D., is the Program Director for the Duke Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program and Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at Duke University Medical Center where he also serves as an Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research for the Duke Sarcoma Program. An internationally renowned sarcoma expert, Dr. Riedel has a clinical and research interest in identifying novel therapeutics for patients with soft tissue and bone sarcoma. He is active in many national bodies including the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration and has taken an active role in developing the NCCN guideline committees for sarcoma. “Choosing a mentor is probably the most important decision you’ll make during fellowship. In the sense that your mentor will then become a peer, an advocate, and someone who opens doors for you.” Having guided hundreds of trainees, Dr. Richard Riedel joins us in this episode of the Medicine Mentors for a retrospective look at his journey and some tips he’s learned along the way. Tune in as Dr. Riedel shares with us the importance of working with the three Ps in mind: being present, passionate, and purposeful; recognizing that a mentoring relationship is a two-way street; and how to realize success in the small accomplishments everyday. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. As a physician, your first major relationships are with patients. Given the short time you may have with them, take time to listen rather than speak. Engage with your patients and empathize with their worries to create room for stronger relationships. 2. The life of a physician can be stressful, taxing, and time-consuming. While you might think you’re the only one in the boat, your family and loved ones ride along with you whether you know or not. Dedicating time for your family is important to stay balanced with physicianship. 3. Mentoring relationships can be what you make of them but their potential is limitless and can stretch a lifetime with the right people. Be sure to choose wisely and find a mentor that not only advocates for you, but that you admire professionally and personally. 4. Whether it’s clinic based research or advocacy, achieving a broader goal of good in society requires the big three Ps: present, passionate, purposeful. If you love what you do every moment is appreciated, but it’s also important to ensure that time is aligned with your goals.


The Secret Sauce of Seeking Advice with Dr. Melissa Accordino

Melissa Accordino, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Program Director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship Program at Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through leading clinical research trials in cancer she has been bestowed grants from high profile foundations like The American Society of Clinical Oncology, The Hope Foundation, and The American Cancer Society, and many more. A leader in cancer research, she aims to improve the quality and delivery of cancer care and cancer survivorship within oncology. “I tell my fellows, go meet with these big wigs. If you’re the one person in their day not asking them for a bunch of money and you just want some advice and let them talk, that’ll be the highlight of their day.” Accustomed to the reality of mentorship from both sides, Dr. Melissa Accordino joins us in this episode of the Medicine Mentors to remind us that asking for advice is good, but asking for advice early is better. “It's hard to admit that we do need the help and to yield that control...But I think in order to grow and be successful, it’s essential." Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Asking for help is good, but asking for help early is the secret sauce. When our teammates need help, we want to be able to take on the burden. And at the same time, when we need the help, we should lean on them. 2. We all have a lot more in common than we think. We can start by finding common ground with our potential mentor and even just make small talk. That makes the relationship build organically and turns it from a skill-based mentorship to life-based mentorship. 3. We should stay true to ourselves. It's important not to sit there to try and tell our mentors what we think they want to hear, because if they're really invested in helping us, then we need to be honest.


Nurturing Integrity and Authenticity with Dr. Pamela Munster

Pamela Munster, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and a breast cancer specialist. She is the Director of the Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit, Co-leader of the Center for BRCA Research, and Co-leader of the Molecular Oncology Program at UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is also the founder of Alessa Therapeutics. She has authored the book Twisting Fate, in which she describes her journey as a breast cancer specialist to a breast cancer patient and back. She serves on multiple committees around the world which focus on developing new treatments for cancer and leads breast cancer awareness campaigns in the United States, United Arab Emirates, and India. “Life in medicine is a marathon. It's not a sprint. There are many opportunities to reroute; there are many opportunities to succeed.” A competent physician is nurtured on a strong foundation of integrity in character and authenticity in practice, but an effective mentor is equally responsible for their growth. How can you as a budding physician instill these values in your career? Where can you find such a mentor? Join us on another episode of Medicine Mentors where we discuss these important questions with Dr. Pamela Munster. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Two qualities that should never be compromised in an effective role model or leader are integrity and authenticity. 2. Doctors have incredible power and responsibility bestowed upon them as caretakers. It should be used to channel ourselves toward the best we can do for our patients. 3. Effective mentors act as sounding boards and help the mentee achieve their maximum potential. As mentees, it is our job to actively seek out answers and define for ourselves, "What does success look like for me?"


Mentoring Leaders, Not Shadows with Dr. Robert J. Soiffer

Robert Soiffer, MD, is the Chief of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the Worthington and Margaret Collette Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. A renowned malignant hematology researcher, Dr. Soiffer has served as President of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and is the immediate past chair of the board of the National Marrow Donor Program. He has co-authored more than 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, review articles, editorials, and monographs. “Early in my career, when I would mentor people, I would explain to them exactly how I did what I did. A lot of folks would say, I want to be like you. But you need to realize that you’re not like me, you're different, you're YOU. So you have to find your own path.” Known as a “mentor to mentors”, Dr. Robert Soiffer teaches us how to best utilize mentors to carve our own path, how JOY in medicine lies in the JOurneY not necessarily the outcomes, and the ephemeral nature of success, which is why “you can’t enjoy the successes too much or wallow in the failures too much because they’re going to flip around.” Pearls of Wisdom: 1. We have to remember history in order to define the present and improve the future. The greatest memory tool is talking to the patient, asking the patient, and letting that serve as the way we remember their story. 2. Don’t connect failure or success to the end result; focus on improving the journey and finding joy in that process. 3. You don’t have to be a mentor’s shadow; talk about your path and vision with them to gain insight on how you can achieve that. 4. Have fun everyday and never miss a meal.


The Resilient Doctor with Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz

Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, FACP, is a Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, J. Terrence Lanni Chair in Cancer Research, Section Head of GI Oncology and Co-Director of the Colorectal Center at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Deputy Director for Research at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lenz is a physician-scientist known for his work on the pharmacogenomics of GI cancers. He is a member of several professional societies, including the AACR & AGA and serves on the National Advisory Board of a number of professional organizations. Dr. Lenz is the Co-Chair of the GI Committee and Correlative Science Committee for SWOG. He has published over 450 peer reviewed manuscripts. He has been listed in the Best Doctors’ database since 2003. “You need to be very resilient and always dream big. Don't limit yourself with boundaries.” Why is resilience so important for a physician? Early in his career, Dr. Lenz was told that he cannot make it as a researcher by his superior; the only response Dr. Lenz had was, "I will show you." Looking ahead a few years, Dr. Lenz is now a highly renowned researcher and clinician with many accolades to his name. Join us on another episode of Medicine Mentors where we discuss core values a physician must exhibit, the success factor of effective mentors, and what it means to be an influential physician-leader with Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Learn to be open-minded. Always be relentless and resilient in your pursuits. Explore different diversities with the right mindset and maximize your potential. 2. A successful mentor can instill a sense of accountability in their mentees, making sure they know that great things are expected of them. 3. A leader’s job is to maximize the existing potential of the group and eliminate the gaps and weak links by recognizing talent and assigning appropriate roles.


Mentoring Tomorrow's Leaders Today with Dr. Grace Makari-Judson

Grace Makari-Judson, MD, is a Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at UMass Chan Medical School, Baystate. She is also the Co-Director of The Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, and Chair of the Baystate Health Breast Network and Baystate Regional Cancer Program. She is known as an educator, speaking at forums for both medical and lay audiences and also serves as the Principal Investigator of the Breast Research Registry to provide opportunities for translational research and of numerous clinical trials to enhance care. “You always have to take advantage of relationships, even if you don’t necessarily know who those people are that you’re collaborating with. You just have to be open to it.” Joined by her own mentee, Dr. Prarthana Bhardwaj who rose to that very challenge, we sat down with Dr. Grace Makari Judson in a discussion on mentorship, taking chances, and staying enthusiastic. Tune in as we dive into the details of mentorship from both sides, gain insight into the specific pitfalls of bad mentoring relationships, and why it’s important to learn from your surroundings and take chances when they’re afforded. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Stay open to new opportunities because your path is ever-changing and we can gain so much from learning around us and exploring different experiences. But be sure to instill a foundation of excellence so when that time comes you’re ready. 2. A great mentor is somebody who’s invested in your growth. They can be sponsors, teachers, or advocates. But be sure to find one that can set an agenda, meet with you frequently, and share beneficial opportunities with you. 3. A great mentee is one who shares enthusiasm about the work and jumps on opportunities presented to them. 4. As physicians, we need to be aware of our own personal biases when caring for patients by reminding ourselves that we’re there to empower them. Rather than relating to their issues, empathize and find out what’s best for them.


The P.A.U.S.E. Protocol with Dr. George Weiner

George Weiner, MD, is a Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at the University of Iowa. Dr. Weiner has also served as the Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center for over two decades. He is also the CE Block Chair of Cancer Research at the University of Iowa Health Care and provides all oversight to cancer research at the cancer center. Dr. Weiner runs a research lab focusing on novel approaches to cancer immunotherapy. In honor of Dr. Weiner’s service, the institution has announced an award named ‘The George Weiner Cancer Control Visionary Award’. When paralyzed with a life-changing decision, how often do we take a step back and let the critical thinker inside us reign free? To really analyze the situation and understand its outcomes on a larger scale? In today’s episode, Dr. George Weiner shares a secret formula for making complex decisions in a split-second with the promise of the most successful pay-offs. To learn this “P.A.U.S.E.” protocol, tune in for more. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. There are people who can have the same goals but come from very different backgrounds and perspectives, and if we really work hard to understand where they're coming from, it makes it much easier to identify the joint goals because there are different approaches that can be successful towards the same goal. 2. We shouldn't let the lingo get in the way when communicating with peers or patients. We tend to use terms we understand very well, but others don't know what we're talking about. Everyone's capable of understanding very complex issues if we use terminology that they can understand. 3. Before we make any decisions. we should “P.A.U.S.E.” and look at it from different angles to try and think about what or how that would impact other people before executing it.


Listen to the Social History with Dr. Karen Ballen

Karen Ballen, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia. She serves as the Chief of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Ballen is an international expert in stem cell transplants, particularly for patients who have a difficult time finding a donor. She started one of the first umbilical cord blood banks in the United States with the American Red Cross. Her research focuses on access to transplant care. She is the Chair of the Cord Blood Advisory Committee for the National Marrow Donor Program and has served multiple leadership roles for the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. Bludgeoning our way through medical questions might bereave us of an indispensable aspect of the patient history: the social history. “When I meet a new patient, I say, ‘I've read your records, and I've talked to your referring physician, but why don't you tell me your story?’ And it's very open-ended, and it gives them five or 10 minutes to just go.” To derive key insights from the subtle hints our patients give us in between their stories, join us for today’s episode of The Medicine Mentors as we learn about the patient-doctor exchange from Dr. Karen Ballen. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. At each stage of the journey, mentorship is very important in terms of [deciding] where to devote energy and time, but maybe even more importantly, where not to. 2. Often in medicine, we try to shield our personal life from our professional life, but sharing some of those personal stories and asking for support when we need it will help us create an environment of support and trust. 3. When we meet a new patient, we should keep the conversation open-ended by saying, “I've read your records and I've talked to your referring physician, but why don't you tell me your story?”


Supporting a Continuum of Mentorship with Dr. Renuka Iyer

Renuka Iyer, MD, is a Professor of Oncology, Section Chief for Gastrointestinal Oncology and Co-Leader of Liver and Pancreas Tumor program at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University at Buffalo. She is also the Vice Chair of Faculty Recruitment and Retention in the Department of Medicine. She is a world renowned authority on Neuroendocrine Tumors. She was recently awarded the Mark R. Clements Award, for Vision Innovation and Collaboration from the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. “If it’s in my power to make something happen and I don’t, then I’ve failed them.” Having found her own path with the help of mentors that encouraged her, Dr. Renuka Iyer shares challenges and hurdles that helped make her into the mentor, professor, and researcher she is today. Tune in to this special episode of The Medicine Mentors at ASCO 2023 as we learn from Dr. Iyer how to be better mentees and people by working hard and keeping our word, why studying woodchucks helped her understand that challenges are opportunities for exploration and discovery, and how mentorship can be a lifelong continuum of support. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Try not to pigeonhole the idea of a mentor. You can find mentorship from anyone as long as they care about your future and want to help; stay open to diverse forms of mentorship. 2. When you run into a wall, don’t be quick to give up. Work around obstacles and reach out to find new answers. As Dr. Iyer says, “necessity can be the mother of invention.” 3. Not only does a good mentee respect their mentor’s time, but they recognize the value of vulnerability. Sharing your insecurities and fears with a mentor means you’re asking for help and growing. The other part of that is following through with agreements and tasks. 3. Find a balance between work and your own life. Find a support system that allows you to feel good about work and nourished at home. Your job is to care for others but that requires taking care of yourself first.


Harry Potter and the Physician's Dilemma with Dr. Sam Lubner

Sam Lubner, MD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, where he directs the Hematology and Medical Oncology fellowship program. He specializes in gastrointestinal malignancies and is the leader of the Gastrointestinal Disease-Oriented Team at the Carbone Cancer Center. He also serves on the Education Council for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. He has received numerous awards for clinical care, including Ambulatory Patient Experience Physician Champion, and has been selected for the Department of Medicine Clinical Excellence Award. Ever wondered why wizards are like doctors and wands are like their specialty? There are times when every milestone of your career will be clear and you will know the right steps to follow. But what about the times when everything is shrouded in uncertainty and doubt? As Dr. Lubner suggests, "Like Harry Potter, let the Sorting Hat decide." Tune in to today's episode of the Medicine Mentors, where we are joined by Dr. Sam Lubner, the Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, as he shares wisdom perfected over many years of mentoring countless residents and fellows and why every time his mentees are unclear about their career path, he just lets the Sorting Hat decide. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. The best gift that we can give to a patient (or ourselves) is to think deeply about them because patients are deliberately trying to find answers through us. This will help us deliver empathetic and compassionate care. 2. We should realize that we're never alone in medicine. We're never stranded on an island. We always have a team of doctors that we can reach out to. People feel valued when they are sought out for answers to difficult questions. 3. Synthesizing the experiences and the perspectives we gain from our mentors will help us assimilate all of that into a decision. As mentees, one of the most valued traits that we can develop is intellectual curiosity and to never shy away from going back into the patient room to seek those answers.


Breaking the Emotional Lockbox with Dr. Laurel Lyckholm

Laurel Lyckholm, MD, is a Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the West Virginia University Cancer Institute. She also serves as the Interim Chief of the Department of Hematology/Oncology. She is actively involved with the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Lyckholm is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Leonard Tow Gold Humanism in Medicine Award and several others for exceptional teaching and mentorship. Every self-improvement, motivational, and leadership literature highlights the inextricable nature of listening with being a high-value professional. “Patients really notice when physicians listen, and you have to listen with your heart as well as your head,” says Dr. Laurel Lyckholm. Join us for another episode of The Medicine Mentors as we discuss implementing listening as a habit in our practice, looking inward when moving past emotional barriers, and using the correct metrics to assess the efficacy of our mentoring relationships with Dr. Laurel Lyckholm. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. Matching is important in mentorship. It's okay to reevaluate mentoring relationships if it's not working out and moving on from them 2. Listening makes the best physician, somebody who is conscious about the listening-to-talking ratio in their meetings with the patients. 3. We should look outward instead of inward. If someone has upset us, maybe they have projected hurt or pain that they are suffering. It’s best to move on.


Outside the Box Mentorship with Dr. Linda Vahdat

Linda Vahdat, MD, MBA, is a breast cancer medical oncologist. She serves as the Deputy Cancer Center Director, Section Chief of Medical Oncology, and Interim Chief of Hematology at Dartmouth Cancer Center. She is a leading breast cancer researcher with special interests in drug development. She has led three separate drug-development efforts that led to FDA approval of three drugs active in metastatic breast cancer. She founded the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Clinic, the second only in the entire country. Mentorship need not be limited to the confines of medical institutions.“Looking back and thinking about all the people I felt really helped me develop into who I am today, there's actually quite a list because everybody brings something different to the party.” And she ascertains the fact that many of her mentors were outside of medicine. Tune into another insightful conversation on The Medicine Mentors as we discuss building long-term relationships to be conducive to growth and seeking mentors outside of medicine that can supplement our medical practice with Dr. Linda Vahdat. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. The most successful leaders have high EQs and having a high EQ makes a huge difference. It is a skill that can be learned through different outlets—online courses, specialists, podcasts—where we can begin to understand the underpinnings of EQ. 2. We should ensure that we match properly, either as a mentor or as a mentee, with the other person, and re-evaluate that relationship, that it is not a waste of time for either parties, and communicating if that is so to act as a frequent check of the relationship as well as of goals and objectives that we have set up. 3. A good mentor is someone who listens, creates opportunities, and helps balance life. As mentees, we should follow up and close the loop with our mentors because we have to be respectful of the mentor's time, as well. 4. Mentorship doesn't have to be restricted to just medicine. It is more about learning the approach from individuals not just in medicine but also outside of it. It is important to go out of the box and look for mentors who can help you with a mentorship map.


Overcoming Mentorship Anxiety with Dr. Martina Murphy

Martina Murphy, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Florida. She also directs the Hematology and Oncology Fellowship Program. Dr. Murphy specializes in caring for patients with gynecologic malignancies. She is a prolific researcher with a focus on equitable and accurate healthcare communication across the oncology spectrum. Dr. Murphy is passionate about medical education and mentorship. “Once you've got an idea about the things that excite you and the things that make you tick, ask for what you want. Don't be afraid to tell your mentor, ‘This is what I think I need help with.’” Dr. Martina Murphy understood that fear will only weigh her down once it was time to reveal a great secret to her mentor. Tune in to another inspiring episode of The Medicine Mentors as we discuss key topics like discovering our passion and using it as leverage to finding effective mentorship with Dr. Martina Murphy. Pearls of Wisdom: 1. We should be ourselves and let our mentors see us, and if we allow them to see ourselves and the things that make us tick and excite us, we’re going to have such a great relationship and that person is going to be so much better equipped to help us in the process. 2. Trainees that have a spirit of inquiry about constantly wanting to keep growing and to keep learning are very impactful, and it certainly comes across in conversations. 3. We tend to sometimes forget that our patients are experts in their own lives. It's really important to communicate with patients about what's worrying them because we make a lot of assumptions from where we sit as doctors about what our patients care about. That goes a long way in terms of helping people and be engaged participants in their own health.