March 5, 2018
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Thank you to all who have donated, now the Article.
Mentor: someone who imparts wisdom to and shares knowledge with a less experienced colleague.
Years ago, I wrote this piece about mentors.
Frank T. Saulsbury, MD is a mentor of mine from my
years at the University of Virginia School of Medicine Pediatrics Residency. A few years ago, Frank retired after years of service to the children of Virginia prompting me to go back for one more Immunology clinic day with Frank. I wanted to see his greatness one more time and reflect on how he has helped me become a better healer.
Frank educated his students by challenging them to be the best they can be. He led by example. He approached every patient with the curiosity of an inspector. No case was too difficult. You wanted to be with Frank and hear him work through a case. His love of medicine was contagious. He was always kind and thoughtful in his delivery of diagnosis and management. He was purposeful in his choice of words and he loved his patients.
Finding a mentor in life is like hitting your personal jackpot. Finding someone with the ability to hit you in your core and make you believe in a greater version of yourself is a true blessing. I have been beyond fortunate to have had three great mentors in medicine. Frank is the best of them.
I was recently moved to look at mentorship again because of the passing of a man who loved simple things, Mr. Gregorio Pietropaolo.
Parents can be great mentors. Mr. Pietropaolo was one of those men. I had the great pleasure of knowing him and his wisdom. He was a man who loved life and the simple things that brought happiness: Mother nature, good food, good wine, hard work and people. He believed in family and teaching others about life through stories. He believed in honor and hard work. He loved this country. In simple terms he was a man that any young child would learn a great deal from by watching him live. He was a mentor. He was a teacher.
I have been reading Marcus Aurelius' book Meditations. In this book, we see Marcus Aurelius give attribution for his skills and moral code to his mentors and teachers. He reflected on his life and how he learned and became the man he was. Honoring those that have inspired you to be better is a gratitude gesture that is fruitful. Reading a book like this to your teenager is a fine idea. It can set the plate for them to ponder who would or could move their inner fire, their moral code, their happiness and their "who I want to be".
When it comes to your children, teach them about the qualities of a good mentor. Help them to see the greatness in people and let them know that it is ok to emulate qualities that they wish to have. They will always be themselves, but God willing they will incorporate the best of others while they become productive citizens. Let them believe that it is ok to aim high.
With gratitude for Frank, Wayne, Gregorio and Dad,