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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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Aug 25, 2023

Heinz-Josef Lenz, MD, FACP, is a Professor of Medicine and Preventive Medicine, J. Terrence Lanni Chair in Cancer Research, Section Head of GI Oncology and Co-Director of the Colorectal Center at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Deputy Director for Research at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Lenz is a physician-scientist known for his work on the pharmacogenomics of GI cancers. He is a member of several professional societies, including the AACR & AGA and serves on the National Advisory Board of a number of professional organizations. Dr. Lenz is the Co-Chair of the GI Committee and Correlative Science Committee for SWOG. He has published over 450 peer reviewed manuscripts. He has been listed in the Best Doctors’ database since 2003.

“You need to be very resilient and always dream big. Don't limit yourself with boundaries.” Why is resilience so important for a physician? Early in his career, Dr. Lenz was told that he cannot make it as a researcher by his superior; the only response Dr. Lenz had was, "I will show you." Looking ahead a few years, Dr. Lenz is now a highly renowned researcher and clinician with many accolades to his name. Join us on another episode of Medicine Mentors where we discuss core values a physician must exhibit, the success factor of effective mentors, and what it means to be an influential physician-leader with Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz.

Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Learn to be open-minded. Always be relentless and resilient in your pursuits. Explore different diversities with the right mindset and maximize your potential.
2. A successful mentor can instill a sense of accountability in their mentees, making sure they know that great things are expected of them.
3. A leader’s job is to maximize the existing potential of the group and eliminate the gaps and weak links by recognizing talent and assigning appropriate roles.