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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 6, 2022

Talmadge E. King Jr., MD, is the Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. King is also a Master of the American College of Physicians and Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians. He holds the UCSF Julius R. Krevans Distinguished Professorship in Internal Medicine, and is a recipient of the 2007 Trudeau Medal, the highest honor of the American Lung Association & American Thoracic Society. His research has led to pioneering treatments for interstitial pneumonias, and his bibliography comprises more than three hundred publications, as well as the co-authorship of eleven books.

“Keep working to become the best and don’t worry about what opportunities are out there. If they want you now, they’re going to want you even more later because you're going to be better.” This was a piece of advice the young Dr. Talmadge King received from one of his mentors. Tune in as we listen to the now Dean at UCSF share impactful anecdotes from his life reinforcing fundamental values of trust, kindness and continuous self-development to find joy in medicine.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Start with trust, assuming that most people are decent and have good intent. You should give them the benefit of the doubt.
2. Early in your career, embrace a growth mindset, seek help, and develop the areas where you’re weak. Later on, become more and more expert so that your work becomes your joy.
3. Let the game come to you—engage in continuous self-development so that you’re better today than you were yesterday. If they want you now, they’re going to want you even more later, because you’ll be better.