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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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Feb 24, 2021

Dr Lisa Skinner is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Internal Medicine Residency Program Director at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. She completed her Medical school from Yale University School of Medicine and Residency in Internal Medicine from UCLA School of Medicine where she stayed on as a Chief Resident. She maintains an active clinical practice focusing on women’s health at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. A graduate of the Stanford Faculty Development Center, Dr. Skinner is passionate about faculty development around medical teaching, especially focused on the topics of coaching, learning climate and feedback. She is an instructor for the medical education fellowship at UCLA and a regional hub leader for the ACGME initiative: Developing Faculty Competencies in Assessment. She has received numerous awards including the housestaff teaching award at UCLA.

What does it mean to be authentic? Today, Dr. Lisa Skinner explains that the best mentees are those who own their story—and share it. She shares that when she meets medical students, the number one thing she looks for is a ‘real’ person. Someone who isn't just trying to say what they think others want to hear. Rather, those who recognize—and own—their own unique superpowers. Dr. Skinner reflects that although we all have different backgrounds, different biographies, and different stories; when we share them with each other, we find that we are more alike than we initially thought. So, she encourages us to be authentic, especially when we communicate with our mentors. It's often our unique stories, our vulnerabilities, our hopes and dreams that motivate them. 

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Have a moral compass. Look for examples in the people in your life that inspire you. Their values and inspiration will guide you.
2. Mentors are looking for a relationship with us, too. And the one thing that will strengthen that relationship is learning to be authentic with ourselves and our story.
3. Recognize and own our unique superpowers, and share those with our mentors. Our stories are powerful and will help us connect to our mentors.