Being Your Own Best Advocate with Dr. Anne Curtis
15 min

Anne Curtis, MD, is the Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and SUNY Distinguished Professor at the University at Buffalo. Dr. Curtis completed her medical school at Columbia University, her residency in internal medicine at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and then she went on to Duke University to pursue fellowships in cardiovascular disease and clinical cardiac electrophysiology. Dr. Curtis maintains an active clinical practice, with a focus on cardiac electrophysiology, and she has been involved in the development of national guidelines for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and ventricular arrhythmias. She has been involved in clinical trials for over 25 years with over 300 publications, and she serves as an associate editor for the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. At a national level, she has held numerous leadership roles, including serving as the President of the Association of University Cardiologists, President of the Heart Rhythm Society, and Chairing the ACC's Clinical Electrophysiology Committee and the FDA's Circulatory System Devices Panel.

How can we become our own best advocate? Today, Dr. Anne Curtis explains that the best way to find more opportunities is to go after them with all the enthusiasm we’ve got. She shares stories throughout her career and recalls that she’s always felt highly motivated to work hard, get things done, and prove herself in a career in medicine. She advises us to take the opportunities we are presented with, even if they seem daunting at first. It is when we prove ourselves to our mentors and show them that we’re willing to do the work, that they build more trust in us—and offer us more and more opportunity. Dr. Curtis explains that—especially in these early years of training—our one job is to become good physicians. She leaves us with this: “If you want to do anything that involves patient care and research, you better be a darn good doctor.”

Pearls of Wisdom:

1. Be your own best advocate. Opportunities may or may not come—it’s up to you to seek them out. 2. Find role models for potential. Look for the mentors that you can see yourself in, and realize that their potential also exists in you. When you follow in their footsteps, you’ll achieve greater and greater things. 3. The mark of a good mentee is when a supervisor trusts you when they’re not there. Develop trust and prove that you can handle things on your own, that you know what you’re doing, and that you’re willing to do things the right way.

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