Find a Mentor and Role Model

By March 12, 2009Uncategorized
Throughout your professional career, a mentor or role model is critical in guiding your path.

In high school, it is helpful to become involved in the medical community by volunteering at the local hospital. By spending time at the hospital, one can find out if the hospital environment is the right place for you. Being around patients who are in need of medical services will either detract you or inspire you. The desire to help and heal people is at the heart of medicine and surgery.

In college, you will be studying extremely hard through all the basic sciences and premedical courses. It is important at this time to identify professors in areas of your interest who will help shape your professional and scientific interests. These individuals can be at your undergraduate university or at your University associated Medical School. It is at this time that you may be able to identify a plastic surgeon in the academic community with whom you can begin to understand this exciting field.

In medical school, you will be studying twice as hard, but should still find the time to identify a mentor, preferably at this time a plastic surgeon, with whom you can identify and begin some research projects. This will prepare you in multiple ways. It will allow you to see the process of residency training in plastic surgery, spend time with your role model to see what their professional career is like, and begin delving deeper into the science of plastic surgery. The mentor in this position will be critical in helping you obtain a spot in the most competitive residency in medicine.

I have been fortunate in having outstanding mentors and role models in my professional career. In high school, I had teachers in English and History who challenged us to think and write outside our boundaries. In medical school and surgical residency, my mentors and role models were Drs. Susan Mackinnon, Robert L. Walton, Lawrence Gottlieb, and Harry Buncke. Each are considered giants in their field and each shaped and molded my career path in their unique way. Most importantly, my father, a retired MD obstetrician, served as a constant role model with his hard work and dedication to his patients.

I am indebted and grateful for my mentors’ leadership and guidance. You will also be lucky to find such outstanding individuals who will help guide your path.