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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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Sep 25, 2020

Monika Safford, MD is currently a Professor and the Chief of the division of General Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She received her medical degree from Weill Cornell and completed her residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She previously served at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as the inaugural endowed professor of diabetes prevention and outcomes research, Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education, Associate Director of the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education. With more than 260 papers published in top tier journals, she's an expert researcher and has received various grants including a recently awarded $10 million grant by the NIH. She has chaired many national committees, and has been the recipient of many national honors and awards for her contributions to medicine.

Strong mentorship cannot exist without a strong sense of teamwork. Today, Dr. Monika Safford explains collaboration with others allows us optimize our own strengths, and fill in the gaps to overcome our weaknesses. And that finding out our weaknesses—and where we need help—comes from honest self-reflection and feedback. We have the power to strengthen the bond of mentors and mentees by growing a network of teamwork within our hospitals. And with a strong sense of teamwork, comes more innovation, insight, and care.

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Follow your inner voice. Have an open mind and be open to innovation. This will guide you through most of the challenges that you come across.
2. Take time for self-reflection. Be honest with yourself and what you do. Hold yourself accountable and identify your weaknesses and strengths.
3. Work in teams. Your goal should be to put together a team to overcome individual weaknesses so as to maximize the expertise of each individual.
4. Do not be afraid to fail. Take time and reflection to learn from your mistakes.