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

Jul 22, 2020

The guest of this episode is Heather Wakelee, M.D., a leading specialist in the treatment of lung cancer, thymoma and mesothelioma. Dr. Wakelee has been in practice for nearly two decades at Stanford University, and is currently a fellow of ASCO. She is the physician lead for the thoracic malignancies clinical research group and has developed research programs related to lung cancer and thymoma across multiple areas including clinical trials, translational work, and population sciences. Dr. Wakelee is the Principal Investigator on numerous clinical trials, and is the faculty director of the Stanford Cancer Clinical Trials office, as well as the Lead Investigator for ECOG-ACRIN clinical trials group at Stanford. It is a true privilege to receive Dr. Wakelee’s insights. 

In this interview, Dr. Wakelee underscores patient-centric care that honors the humanity of the patient; discusses the importance of self-care; notes collaboration and teamwork as essential for true success; and offers encouragement for residents in building their research careers from the ground floor up.

Thank you for tuning into this episode of Medical Mentors with Dr. Wakelee. Enjoy!

Talking points:

  • Stay focused on the patient, and always remember the patient is a person 
  • Be kind 
  • Take care of yourself—know when and how to “refresh” 
  • Take pleasure in the meaning of medicine, which is to help people
  • Dr. Wakelee’s strength in feeling the sadness of her work, but not being overwhelmed by it 
  • Collaboration and inclusivity are keys to success 
  • Being re-energized through conferences and supportive time with colleagues 
  • Success comes from hard work and ownership
  • Leaders are team-centric 
  • Residents have to build up their CVs for research