> Starting and Running a Practice

I Wish I Had Known: Starting Your Career in Academics

“Surround yourself with people who have a genuine interest in your dermatology career.”

Looking Back

Recently I was promoted in my career to full Professor. In the process, I was forced to look back at the path that led me to academic medicine. I would like to say that I put a lot of planning and contemplation into getting to where I am, but honestly, it was very serendipitous. My career thus far was built more on luck than ambition. I had the extremely good fortune of working at a department where they expected you to be academically productive and gave you the mentorship and support to do so.

Your Academic Family

What I didn’t know at the time, when applying for positions, is that an academic practice is like a family. A Chair that is fair and kindhearted but who is also kind of strict, in that he demands excellence from you is desirable. Colleagues who challenge you and make your job fun. You want residents who you can teach and who look up to you in return.

My Advice

Surround yourself with people who have a genuine interest in your career. People who readily and generously share advice, knowledge and resources; people who include you alongside them in amazing career advancement opportunities; and, most importantly, people, who at the end of the day, joyously celebrate in your successes along with you.

Therefore if you have the foresight to look for these qualities, and not just the luck to stumble upon them, you are virtually guaranteed a happy, productive, and rewarding career in dermatology.