From Good to GREAT

Stony Brook Internal Medicine Peer Mentoring Program

So this afternoon, I get the distinct pleasure of being part of a new project here at Stony Brook Internal Medicine.

Under the direction of our wonderful associate Program director Dr. Rachel Wong, we have started a peer mentoring program in our residency program. Along with one of our chief resident’s Dr. Ali Sheikh, this afternoon we will continue this very cool project.

Mentoring is a broad concept, and everyone has different ideas about it. Today’s workshop will go into some very specific elements of mentoring such as “Mission Statements”, “Personal Networking Maps” ” Peer Check-ins, ” and more.

As a physician and especially as a young trainee, I may walk into this asking, what is this really about? Is this useful? It’s not about diseases, it’s not about evidence based medicines, it’s not about diagnostic tests or the latest drug developments, it’s not about patient care.  So what’s the point of committing 3 hours of potentially valuable resident time to such a project?

Well, when I take a step back and look at this, the program to me is about 1 thing.


It’s about going from Good to Great.


I have 100% confidence that everyone in our residency programs are and will continue to be very good physicians. Years of commitment to studying, testing, practicing, committing to long hours in residency have established this baseline of being “Good.”

But how do you get to Great? There really isn’t a defined road map for this. Taking the next step towards a bigger goal, requires guidance and tools that we’re rarely taught in medical school and residency. Mentoring, and more specifically Peer mentoring, can be one of those tools that helps all of us take that next step towards greatness.

In this era where our healthcare system and the world at large is struggling on many fronts, it’s simply not enough to be good. Good maintains the status quo. Great makes a difference.

I challenge everyone reading this and everyone in our residency program to utilize whatever tools you have at your arsenal (including this mentoring program) to make a commitment to exceed your own expectations  and set forth on a journey to achieve great things in your professional and personal lives.

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

-Mahatma Gandhi

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