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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 28, 2020

Sarah Sofka, MD, FACP, is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at West Virginia University. She completed her medical school and residency from West Virginia University. Dr. Sofka has a career devoted to mentorship from her role as Chief Resident during residency, to Associate Program Director, and now as Program Director. Dr. Sofka also chairs the GME Wellness Committee which focuses on preventing resident burnout and promoting wellness. She has received numerous awards for excellence in medicine throughout her career.

When deciding between residency programs, consider the following: Does it seem like a supportive program? Is it flexible? Could you take vacation when you need it? Today, Dr. Sarah Sofka stresses the importance of self-care. She teaches us about creating an environment that is conducive to our success—and our well-being. It is important to make decisions on where you feel at home, and where you are able to look after yourself. Because although it is better to give than to receive, we cannot adequately care for our patients if we are not looking after ourselves.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. When choosing a career path, find what you like most, and where you feel at home.
2. Be humble: Don’t be afraid to admit when you’re wrong even as you reach an advanced stage in your career.
3. What defines a successful leader is knowing what your shortcomings are and being able to reflect on those and eventually improve.
4. You have to be open to constructive feedback as a way of making you better, and ultimately contributing to your success.