What Advice from Medical School Remains Valuable Today?

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    Doctors Magazine

    What Advice from Medical School Remains Valuable Today?

    We've gathered timeless wisdom from seasoned medical professionals, distilling it down to six invaluable pieces of advice that continue to resonate long after medical school. From prioritizing patient-centered care to treating the person, not just the disease, this advice comes from a diverse range of voices, including a dentist and a medical director. Discover the enduring insights that have shaped their careers and could influence yours.

    • Prioritize Patient-Centered Care
    • Ensure Patient Comfort
    • Embrace Resilience in Medicine
    • Value Mentorship and Continuous Learning
    • Adopt a Holistic Surgical Approach
    • Treat the Person, Not Just the Disease

    Prioritize Patient-Centered Care

    A valuable tip I received as a medical student was to always focus on patients first. That means not just treating their sickness, but really understanding their life, beliefs, and what they want. It's about listening well, talking clearly, and letting patients help decide on their care.

    This advice has helped me build strong relationships with patients based on trust and kindness. It reminds me that each patient is unique and needs a personalized approach. It also encourages me to work closely with other healthcare experts and keep learning to give the best care.

    In the end, patient-centered care leads to better health outcomes, makes patients happier, and makes my job more rewarding.

    Mohammed I. Khan, MD
    Mohammed I. Khan, MDOwner, Apex Interventional Pain & Spine

    Ensure Patient Comfort

    Always prioritize patient comfort and communication.

    Since going to the dentist can be anxiety-inducing for many people, I've always tried to create a welcoming and comfortable environment. At my practice, I try to establish rapport with patients, ease their fears, and ensure they completely understand their treatment options and procedures. To accomplish this, I give my patients my personal email and cell number so they are able to reach me for any dental needs or questions.

    Katie Orr
    Katie OrrDentist, Dr. Katie Orr

    Embrace Resilience in Medicine

    In the journey through medical school and into the practice of medicine, one piece of enduring advice stands out: Some days will inevitably be harder than others. This career path is fraught with challenges and moments of self-doubt, where you may question the decision to pursue a career in medicine. These moments are a natural part of the profession's emotional landscape, given its high stakes and intense demands. However, it's often in these moments of questioning that the most profound source of motivation emerges.

    A single patient expressing gratitude for the difference you've made in their life can illuminate the very reason you chose this path. It serves as a powerful reminder of the impact a physician can have, providing perspective and reigniting the passion that led you to medicine in the first place. This advice underscores the importance of resilience, empathy, and the profound connections forged in the healthcare setting, reminding us that the essence of medicine is deeply human and profoundly rewarding.

    Dr. Rakhi Sarkar
    Dr. Rakhi SarkarMD, Evolve Family Medicine

    Value Mentorship and Continuous Learning

    One piece of advice I received as a medical student, which continues to guide me in my practice as a breast surgery specialist, is the importance of mentorship and continuous learning. My mentor, Dr. Carl Hartrampf, known as the father of modern-day breast reconstruction, taught me invaluable techniques such as the Star-Flap Nipple Reconstruction. This experience underlined the necessity of learning from those who have pioneered paths in our field and the power of innovation in surgical practices.

    In my own career, embracing this advice has led me to perform thousands of breast surgeries, including complex revisions and reconstructions that have significantly impacted patients' lives. Through dedication to educating patients and demystifying the surgical process, I've aimed to empower them to make informed decisions about their health and appearance.

    The tangible impact of this approach is evident in the outcomes we've achieved at OC Breast Surgery. Our team has corrected numerous complex breast implant cases from other practices, achieving results that patients thought were impossible. This success stems from a commitment to continuous learning, leveraging the latest techniques and technologies in breast surgery, and prioritizing patient education and safety above all.

    Dr. Mark Anton
    Dr. Mark AntonMedical Director, OC Breast Surgery

    Adopt a Holistic Surgical Approach

    Focus on the patient, not just the procedure. This advice emphasizes the holistic approach to patient care, reminding me that successful outcomes depend not only on surgical skill but also on understanding the patient's desires, concerns, and expectations. It's about seeing beyond the technical aspects of surgery to the person who is entrusting their hopes and well-being to you. This perspective encourages a partnership with patients, where their goals and well-being guide every decision. It's a reminder that the art of surgery is as much about communication and empathy as it is about precision and technique.

    David Hill, MD
    David Hill, MDPlastic Surgeon & Medical Director, Fulcrum Aesthetics & Surgery

    Treat the Person, Not Just the Disease

    One piece of advice that has steadfastly guided me through my medical education and entrepreneurial journey is to always "treat the person, not just the disease." This mantra transcends its medical origins, reminding me to see each challenge's individual needs and circumstances. Whether it's a patient in a clinic or a learner at Bright Sprouts, recognizing and addressing the unique context of each situation has been invaluable. It's taught me the importance of empathy and personalized approaches in fostering true growth and healing.

    Meg Tibayan
    Meg TibayanCo-founder, Bright Sprouts