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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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Mar 10, 2021

Gifty Kwakye, MD is a Clinical Assistant Professor for Surgery in the division of colorectal surgery at University of Michigan. Dr Kwakye completed her medical school from Yale University and holds a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins. She completed her general surgery residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School and colorectal surgery fellowship at the University of Minnesota. Dr Kwakye joined the faculty at the University of Michigan in 2018. As a resident she received multiple awards including the Robert T. Osteen and the Partners Health System Medical Education awards for excellence in teaching. Her passion for global health was also recognized with a Global Health Scholarship award from Johns Hopkins during her public health training.

Sometimes it seems like our dreams are too big for us. But it is these dreams that propel us forward. Dr. Gifty Kwakye shares how dreaming big guided her from a village in Ghana to a medical school at Yale University. Today, a surgeon at the University of Michigan, Dr. Kwakye emphasizes the role of mentors as "cheerleaders", the importance of believing in yourself, and connecting to our "why" as the keys to unlocking success. She leaves us with a message of dreaming big and being surprised at how many times those dreams actually come true!

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Stay connected to your why and put it on the wall. Use it as a tool to pick you up when the going gets tough.
2. Mentors are attracted to mentees who know their why, what drives them, and are able to communicate it such that the mentor can really pick up that passion because it's that passion that connects the mentor and the mentee.
3. Medicine is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s not how quickly we can finish. It’s whether we finish at the top of our game.