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    A chief urology resident’s 7 lessons in leadership

    Amy Pearlman, MDAmy Pearlman, MD

    Dr. Pearlman is chief urology resident at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


    My scrubs have become a canvas. The powder blue is the background to a color palette of yellows, reds, and browns. This color palette has become the literal representation of the blood, sweat, and tears of both my patients and myself. The Betadine that once cleansed the skin of my patient now exists as a stain on my pant leg that passers-by on my way from the operating room to my office will assume is someone else’s stool. And it very well could be.

    Also see: Visiting professorships offer unique benefit to residents

    My previous Urology Times blog posts on self-awareness, resiliency, and empathy painted only part of the picture. With just a handful of weeks left of residency, the final piece of this collage has to do with leadership. And, reminiscent of my struggle to create a masterpiece with acrylic paint, a brush, and a canvas, my journey into developing as a leader has proven equally difficult to master.

    As I think about these last eleven months holding what I would consider to be my most significant leadership experience so far in life, I have developed a new understanding of what leadership entails. Just prior to my chief year, I pictured myself on the brink of greatness. I pictured myself leaving a urology legacy as one of the best chiefs to have gone through the program.

    Next: "My new truth is humbling."


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