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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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Jul 1, 2021

Ruth Gotian, EdD, MS, is the Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Professor of Education in Anesthesiology at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is the former Assistant Dean of Mentoring and Executive Director of the Mentoring Academy at Weill Cornell. She has been hailed by the journal Nature and Columbia University as an expert in mentoring and leadership development and is currently a contributor to Forbes where she writes about ‘optimizing success’. She was named to the Thinkers50 Radar list, has won numerous mentoring awards, and is currently researching the most successful people in our generation to learn about their habits and practices so we may optimize our own success.

After having interviewed a multitude of successful athletes, physicians, scientists, nobel laureates, Dr. Gotian has identified four pillars of success, common to peak performers: intrinsic motivation, work ethic, a strong foundation, and continued learning through informal means. Tune in today to learn from Dr. Ruth Gotian, one of the leading mentorship researchers on how physicians can adopt these four pillars in our practice and make the leap from good to great.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. When looking for mentors, get a diverse team of mentors from different levels: not just senior mentors, but also peers, juniors, and retirees. Retirees make great mentors because they have wisdom, time, and the desire to give back.
2. Mentorship starts with your mindset. Ask yourself: what is one thing I want to get better at? What is something I haven’t accomplished yet, and why not? Seeing yourself as a work-in-progress will allow you to move forward.
3. We often talk about the Do’s of mentorship. There is also much to learn from the Do not’s. Often, wisdom is not in what to do, but in what not to do.
4. Doctors who move from good to great don’t lose sight of their Why. Their intrinsic motivation helps them persevere.