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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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Oct 29, 2020

Jane O'Rorke, MD is a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Health—San Antonio Long School of Medicine. Dr. O'Rorke completed her medical school from SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn and her residency from the University of Texas—San Antonio where she also served as a Chief Resident. She went on to complete a Faculty Development Fellowship at the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill. Dr. O’Rorke has won numerous teaching awards including Southern Society of General Internal Medicine Clinician Educator-of-the-Year Award and the University of Texas Presidential Teaching Excellence Award.

When one of Dr. Jane O’Rorke’s students doesn’t know something, she encourages them to celebrate! As she explains, not knowing something is an opportunity to fill in knowledge gaps—and that is a good thing. Today, we learn how Dr. O’Rorke approaches learning (both for herself, and her students). She takes a personal interest in the people around her—because it makes her more invested in the work she does. And finally, she shares her personal development and how she has been proactive in working on developing certain skills even if they weren’t natural talents for her, emphasizing that if we put our mind to something we care about, we have the power to improve at anything.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Don’t accept that you either have talent, or you don’t. Recognize that skills are something we can develop like muscles, and there is nothing we can’t improve on.
2. The key to being a great teacher is as simple as taking an interest in your learners.
3. Embrace vulnerability. It’s difficult, but it’s the way to tap into wisdom, and avoid the pitfalls that people have experienced before us.