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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 17, 2021

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, is the Professor of surgery, pathology and laboratory medicine, Phase-I Foundation Distinguished Chair and Director of the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and Cedars Sinai Cancer. Dr. Theodorescu completed his medical school from Queens University, Ontario and residency in Urology from University of Toronto. He then pursued a fellowship in Urologic Oncology from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Theodorescu has published over 300 articles in leading journals like Nature, Science, Cancer cell, PNAS, and JCI. He is the director for an inaugural Department of Defense Grant aimed at mentoring the careers of young faculty DOD awardees across the nation and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Theodorescu has a philosophy: “Treat the cancer before it spreads.” He loves to extend this to his mentees and their problems. Dr. Theodorescu decided that the ultimate calling in his life is to help people, take care of them, and pursue a cure for their illnesses. Join in today as Dr. Theodorescu shares with us his mentorship philosophy of treating cancer (mentee problems) in the early stage and why personal chemistry between the mentor and mentee is integral to the mentorship relationship’s success.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Curiosity and mentorship are the two key ingredients to achieving success in life. Curiosity leads us to the right mentors, and what our mentors teach us stays with us for the rest of our lives.
2. Mentoring relations will vary. You need to have multiple mentors that offer you a diverse perspective and different outlooks on your challenges. Personal chemistry is crucial in sustaining that mentoring relationship.
3. A mentee’s problem is like cancer: it needs to be treated early-on. A mentee needs to actively engage with their mentors and prepare for times of crisis rather than approaching them when the crisis hits.