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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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Jan 23, 2024

Saby George, MD, FACP, is a Professor of Oncology and Medicine within the Department of Medicine and Director of Network Clinical Trials at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. He is a prominent clinical investigator in the kidney cancer space. Dr George is passionate about teaching and mentoring and is a champion advocate for his fellows.

“I was lucky enough to work with some great mentors and envisioned a career I’d like.” Illustrating the power of mentorship, we sit down with Dr. Saby George in a discussion on mentorship, best practices for researchers, and why it’s important for mentors to be unselfish and encourage independence. Join us on another empowering episode of the Medicine Mentors, as we dive into the fine print of mentorship from a master researcher and lauded mentor. Tune in as Dr. George shares with us the mentors that helped guide him to the position he’s in now, how he actively champions mentees by offering independent opportunities, and how the best piece of advice he got was simply to be more patient.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. When looking for success in medicine, you must look at the legacy you’re leaving behind. Mentorship helps us create an environment that continuously strives to push the field forward and leave behind a track-record of improving.
2. A few things to keep in mind when looking for mentors are: competing interests between a mentor and mentee should be avoided, and entering the relationship with honesty and truthfulness will prove to provide a strong relationship.
3. When identifying the traits of a great mentor, you should be able to see that your mentor is invested in seeing you succeed, is unselfish, and able to give honest feedback along with reasonable goals and expectations. 
4. While it can be comfortable to work under the supervision of a mentor, a good mentee should seek out opportunities for growth and independence. Your mentor should provide you with roles and opportunities that help you feel comfortable in your skin. 
5. A small but often overlooked detail for clinical and basic science researchers is to make sure you’re setting realistic timelines and following through. Especially for conferences or studies, be sure to follow through and stay persistent.