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The MuD/PhuD Mind Project

Aug 6, 2021

I’m so delighted that my PI from my grad school years, the great Dr. Scott Friedman, agreed to be a guest on my podcast. He exemplifies excellent mentorship and today, in fact, teaches others how it's done.  For anyone looking to mentor others in the lab or otherwise, listen up and take notes! Also, please refer to his beautifully written Master’s Perspective written in Hepatology in 2015 (available on website: 

Some of his lessons:

  • Passion and curiosity are key 
  • Mentorship needs to be an intentional goal
  • Being a physician first means he doesn’t need to think very hard on how his research will impact patient care. 
  • Embrace the bigger picture of where your research fits in. 
  • Enjoy going into work in the morning and the people you work with, then it isn’t work at all.
  • Be resilient in the face of rejection. Having a strong mentor in the face of these rejections is so essential to learning the skill of resilience. 
  • Great mentors create great mentors
  • View trainees as partners
  • Learn from trainees on how to be a better mentor
  • Joint ownership and partnership will create empowerment in your trainees
  • Put your money where your mouth is. Make your mentees a priority. 

Intuition can be key to finding someone who is aligned with your values and will be an advocate for you. 

We also touched on a personal passion and mission of mine - to address diversity, equity and inclusion within the physician-scientist space. Scott mentioned considering his mentees partners in the pursuit of science and from that belief he took actions that reflected this.  

With respect to the racial and social justice movements, he states “The trajectory of awareness and growth and improvement is continuing to move in the right direction.” 

He acknowledges that we are all works in progress.

He acknowledges his white privilege and states “I’ve had nothing but privilege and opportunity in my life.” I respect that and acknowledge him for being humble in this goal of being a lifelong learner. 

As a final tribute to my time in Scott’s lab, I’ll just read from the plaque that I was given upon my graduation from his lab entitled “Ten Rules for the Clinical Investigator”

  • Do be inquisitive.
  • Do be ambitious.
  • Do not be too ambitious.
  • Do measure something.
  • Do not jump at the first problem that presents itself.
  • If possible, do arrange your data in graphic form.
  • Do not be a lone wolf or secretive.
  • Do develop a theory.
  • Do not be a slave to your theory. 
  • Do reserve some time each day for unadulterated thinking.

From Fuller Albright