David Steffin
David Steffin
February 27, 2017

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Hi everyone! My name is David, and I am a SIOP YI member from Houston, TX, USA. I’m currently a post-doctoral clinical fellow at Texas Children’s Hospital, with a specialty interest in the field of targeted therapies with respect to brain tumors.

As part of my training here, at Texas Children’s Hospital, I have realized that mentorship is considered paramount to success in the field. Faculty work with fellows both in their primary clinical year to guide what field of research they would be interested in, and in addition, a research mentor is assigned in subsequent years to help ensure that regardless of your interest, you have a solid foundation in the basic and translational sciences.

I think very fondly of one mentor I have had thus far. In my first year of fellowship, my clinical mentor met with me at 3-4 structured times throughout the year, sent me relevant articles to help delineate my research interests, and supported and prepared me for meetings with different lab investigators. His enthusiasm and assistance have made me a better physician and have made me incredibly passionate about the field of pediatric oncology and the tremendous developments taking place to cure cancer.

As I have slowly progressed in my clinical training I have had the opportunity to work with several medical students and residents, teaching them about the field of pediatric hematology/oncology and my particular interest there. I have worked with residents to submit case reports for publication, and have had an opportunity to see their excitement as they start to realize their passion for the field.

It would be an honor to give back to those who need advice, even about joining the field, whether it be through nursing, research, or clinical work. There are countless others who would be happy to work with others to help establish a comprehensive mentoring network within the SIOP YI group around the world.

What are your experiences with mentoring? Have you had a chance to mentor students? Have you had any mentors that left a meaningful impact on your training that you would like to share? If you would like to get involved with mentoring in the SIOP community let us know!

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