In dermatology residency, my focus was, appropriately, on learning all that I could about dermatology so that I would pass my board exams and provide great care to my patients, in that order. These were necessary and important priorities, but retrospectively, I wish I had known:
1. Patients care that I care.
First and foremost, each patient wants to be remembered, to feel special, to feel well cared-for, and to know that he/she is in capable, caring hands.
2. Always put family first.
If I’m not happy outside of work, I can’t provide the best care to my patients. I have learned that it’s okay, even necessary, to take the time needed for family without sacrificing career success.
3. Practicing income will be much less than it seems.
Factor in increasing overhead costs, and what seemed like a high salary becomes relatively small. Plan accordingly.
4. My career provides me with so much happiness!
Being a dermatologist and surgeon allows me to provide meaningful, impactful care to so many people every day. My team of partners and staff have become my second family, and I am fortunate to love going to work every day. It’s all worth it!