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    Leverage your knowledge and create a legacy

    Take the time to mentor students. Our specialty will benefit and thrive.


    Another great example of creating opportunities for the next generation also comes from the SMFM, as an outgrowth of the creative thinking of several members and its affiliated Pregnancy Foundation, chaired by Thomas Garite, MD. Through the efforts of Contemporary OB/GYN Founding Editor John T. Queenan, MD, and Larry Platt, MD, we held a fundraiser at the last SMFM meeting to support a new program to be called Quilligan Scholars, named after Ted Quilligan, MD, who is known as a mentor’s mentor. The plan is to create opportunities for promising residents in ob/gyn who have the potential to be leaders in MFM, and provide them with early exposure to the best we have to offer in meetings and education. Again, this will help to leverage our specialty for the next generation.

    But this isn’t something just for national organizations or ivory-tower academics to take on. Grassroots, everyday interactions are critically important in getting the most talented students into our field in the first place. There is nothing more disheartening to medical students considering our field than to hear us grouse endlessly in the locker room and physicians’ lounge about our miseries. Yes, we face challenges, but we have to show students what a great specialty ob/gyn really is.

    The private physicians here at Yale spend a couple of afternoons each year teaching preclinical medical students how to tie knots. Clinicians in private practice may need to make more of an effort to connect with medical students, but it can be done. Try letting an undergraduate student from your alma mater shadow you for a couple of days to see what life is like in the real world, and why he or she should go into ob/gyn. Talk to students about their lives, and yours, so they can see what life is like beyond school and residency.

    Find a way to leverage yourself and create your own legacy.

    Joshua A. Copel, MD
    DR. COPEL is Professor, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, Director of ...


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