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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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Nov 23, 2020

Rob Bradsher, MD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and the Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center. He completed his medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and his Internal Medicine residency in the Osler Medical Training Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He practices hospital medicine and is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the Association for Program Directors in Internal Medicine, and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He's been awarded a number of leadership and teaching awards including the James B. Lewis Teacher of the Year and the Golden Apple Awards at the University of Tennessee, and the Daniel Baker and Most Oslerian Awards during his residency at John Hopkins. He enjoys helping his residents achieve phenomenal success.

The most important quality Dr. Rob Bradsher looks for in his residents is an others-centered mentality. He believes the best mentees—and the best physicians—are those who prop others up for success, even sometimes at their own expense. As physicians, we have to embrace being on a team. Our day isn’t over when we’re finished with our responsibilities—we win as a team when we all walk out of the hospital doors together at the end of the day. Having an others-centered mindset means putting patients, staff, and colleagues first, and making sure no one gets left behind. It’s the small sacrifices we make everyday, according to Dr. Bradsher, that speak volumes.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. The best mentors are the people at the top want to help pull others up. They have a pay it forward mentality, because someone else did it for them. Knowing this should make us less fearful about reaching out—because it’s the right thing to do.
2. The key trait of a successful physician is an others-centered mentality. It’s thinking about the other person. It’s sacrificial love, kindness, and hard work. It’s knowing we’re all on the same playing field.
3. Define your own goals and priorities because it doesn’t matter how many mentors we have around us, they can’t set our goals for us. That is something we have to figure out—and mentors will help us execute them.