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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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Sep 24, 2021

Sowmya Nagaraj, MD is currently the Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Associate Program Director of the Internal Medicine residency program at the East Carolina University. Dr Nagaraj grew up in India and completed her medical school from JSS Medical College in India  before moving to  the United States.  She then pursued a residency in Internal Medicine from Hurley Medical Center of Michigan State University. After completing residency, she joined as a faculty member at Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

For Dr. Sowmya Nagaraj, it’s all about picking your battles: What do you want in life? How much are you willing to fight for it? Are you going to do whatever it takes? And what if what you want now isn’t the same as what you want in 10 years? Keep a timeline for goals and revisit them every few years: Is this still what you want? Do you need to make a change? Dr. Nagaraj shares her wisdom about recognizing that people and goals and aspirations change, and that’s okay. Change is necessary for growth.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Arm yourself with an ecosystem to prepare for the battles: start with being kind to yourself, then find people you trust.
2. Understand that change is inevitable and come from within. What you want now might not be what you want in five years. That’s okay. Embrace that.
3. Strive to become fearless of failure. Self-doubt is dangerous and gets in the way of success. Instead, cultivate a feeling of self-worth.