Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

To learn more please visit us at

Dec 27, 2023

Margaret Tempero, MD, is an internationally renowned expert in pancreatic cancer, a Professor of Medicine and Director of the Pancreas Center at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center. She organized the first Pancreas Cancer Think Tank in 1999 and chairs The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's (PanCAN) Scientific and Medical Advisory Board. She was recently inducted into the prestigious Giants of Cancer Care. A thought leader in cancer, she is a former president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Pancreatic Association and currently serves on the ASCO Conquer Cancer Foundation Board. She also serves as the Editor of Chief of Journal of National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

“I remember asking a mentor of mine, ‘What does success mean?’” In her mind, Dr. Margaret Tempero expected an obvious answer: Some prestigious designation, a decorated award, maybe some groundbreaking research to her name; but when Dr. Ann Kessinger responded with the most fundamental truth of medicine, it revolutionized her medical philosophy to its core: “You're successful when you're improving the lives of your patients, plain and simple.” Join us for another episode of The Medicine Mentors as Dr. Margaret Tempero shares the true definition of success in medicine, teaches us how to improve the lives of our patients, and emphasizes getting to know the patient as a person before we know them by their disease.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Success in medicine is found when you’re improving the lives of your patients. Regardless of how you do it, the patient must be the first and center focus.
2. Get to know your patient as a person before you know them as a disease. It’s as simple as asking them to tell you about themselves. Know the patient so you can help cater your discussion to a field that they understand.
3. Mentorship can be thought of like tennis; a bidirectional process where if your opponent is better, you do better. Mentees have to bring the full initiative to the mentor so they can play back.