Finding a Sense of Gratitude and Purpose in Medicine Through Positive Role Models and a Diversity of Passions, Experiences, and Practices

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Haley Danielle Heibel
Clay J. Cockerell
Christina Guillen
Oluwatoyin Bamgbola
John Schmidt
Poonam Sharma
Robert White
Susan Youens
Mark Heibel


Mentorship, medical education, gratitude, dermatology, physician wellness, service, community advocacy


As burnout is an issue facing our profession, developing and nurturing a greater purpose which promotes a sense of gratitude and purpose in medicine is important for physician wellness and resilience.  We often develop our sense of purpose through the internalization of values and ideas of people we have met in life.  Mentors play an important role in helping us realize and develop our skills and talents, which may not have been readily apparent to us.

In this essay, I, as a physician pursuing dermatology, describe my experiences and what I’ve learned from inspirational teachers and mentors in my education and training that helped me realize the gifts and talents I have to offer the world as a dermatologist.  Then, my mentors describe how a specific experience or hobby has helped them develop a greater sense of purpose and gratitude in their careers.  These are a few of the infinite possibilities which can nurture a sense of gratitude and purpose in our lives, and our goal is for others to reflect on and to expand on these possibilities and share them with colleagues.



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