All teachers and mentors instruct; great ones inspire. They find ways to connect, challenge, compel and convince, motivating students to reach goals and make a difference.
Who helped you become the dermatologist you are today? Whose face, what quote, which discussion, whose guidance do you remember most?
In their own words, five dermatologists share their appreciation for teachers and mentors who made a lasting impression:
“An Ombudsman Extraordinaire”
Adam Friedman, MD
I have been very fortunate to have great mentors throughout my career, but to be brief and not overwhelming with all the great advice, insight and experience I have acquired from them, I have three key messages from two of my mentors.
My most influential mentor is my father, Dr. Joel Friedman, a renaissance physician scientist with whom I conduct a great deal of my nanotechnology research. Two very practical and helpful points I recall are (1) If you are going to study something — a disease, a technology, whatever, you should know more about it than anyone else in the room, and (2) highlighting the success of others or sharing your successes as a team victory only breeds more success. I'm not saying he proposed, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team,’” which is nauseating, but rather there is only, "We succeed."
The other mentor who comes to the top of my list of Jedi Masters is Dr. Steven Cohen, chief of Dermatology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Cohen underscored the importance of being an ombudsman extraordinaire for students, fellows, residents and faculty alike. During my time as a resident and faculty member at Einstein, he never hesitated to step up and support everyone in the program, from letters of recommendations to creating career developing opportunities. This is an approach I strive to emulate as much as possible now as a program director at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences with my own residents and students.”