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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 25, 2022

David Hellmann, MD, holds the Aliki Perroti Professorship in medicine at the Johns Hopkins University, and he is the Co-founder and Director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Innovative Medicine. He served as the Chairman of Medicine and Vice Dean at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center until 2020. He is a nationally recognized rheumatologist and educator and is a recipient of many awards including the Martin Abeloff Award for lifetime achievement in medical and biomedical education.

Know anyone who’s ridden on a magic carpet? When Dr. David Hellmann was 5 years old, he developed Perthes disease. “My neighbor built a device for me that allowed me to lay down and propel myself into every dirt pile in the neighborhood. I remember having no limitation. At a time when the world was telling me I was a cripple, I had a next-door neighbor making me a magic carpet.” Tune into an inspiring conversation with Dr. Hellmann on knowing our patients as people first, finding our North Star, and leaving our fingerprints on the profession of medicine.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Know the patient as a person. You are not only treating a disease but you are healing a person. Certain subtle gestures of compassion, warmth, and humanity in your patient interactions can make a great and lasting difference.
2. To know the North through a compass is not enough, you need a guide to take you through the difficult terrains; that is, you need a mentor to show you how things are done and why they are done the way they are in order to progress in your medical journey.
3. Leave your fingerprints on the jewel of medicine. Medicine is a progressive field. No matter how many developments are made, there will always be a place for innovation and discoveries, and you must be the one pioneering that effort.