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Welcome to The Medicine Mentors interview series. Our mission is to create a platform for top physician mentors to share key insights, traits and best practices based on their experiences to guide medical students and residents.

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Aug 27, 2020

Dr. Jennifer Christner is the Dean of School of Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. Over the last 20 years, she has been devoted to leadership and mentorship of physicians across a number of prestigious universities, from an Associate Pediatric Residency Director at the University of Toledo to an Assistant Dean at the University of Michigan to the Associate Dean at SUNY Upstate. She has pursued her interests in improving quality in medical education and medical education research. As a testament to her passion for students and teaching, she has been awarded teacher of the year multiple times.

Today, Dr. Christner teaches us how to strike the balance between being confident yet not cocky. How to recognize our talents and celebrate our successes, but to also never get too big for ourselves. And, she reminds us that sometimes the biggest lessons don’t just come from our mentors, but unexpectedly from those around us. So, take the time to get to know not only your patients, but the cafeteria staff, the maintenance workers, and all those around you that make the experience possible. And most important, learn the names of everyone around you, it will go a long way! 

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Learn how to advocate for yourself. Do not beat yourself down and allow other people to dictate the narrative of your life. No one is going to look out for you better than yourself.
2. Be confident, but not cocky. Know the difference between the two and manage that tension well.
3. Know the names of those around you. These relationships will be invaluable in many practical ways.