How do you find time to balance work, family and friends when you have such a busy schedule?
I am very fortunate to have a lot of help. I do my paperwork after everyone has gone to bed at night, and I wake up early to do my pre-operative planning. And coffee helps!
What is your number one piece of advice to someone wanting to go into medicine?
Stay focused and remember why you doing this. Becoming a doctor is a long road. For me, it was 4 years of pre-med classes, 4 years of medical school, 1 year of a master’s in public health degree, 3 years of general surgery training, and 3 years of plastic surgery training. That’s 15 years. It’s a long time! A lot happens during those years.
That being said, I think medicine is the most amazing profession in the world, and I can’t think of a better way to spend 15, or 30, or 50 years of your life. You help people when they really need it. You really talk to people. It is an incredibly important role to play in someone else’s life.
What is something you wish you knew in med school that you had to find out for yourself later in your career?
Find mentors early in your career and keep in touch with them. Knowing others who have the kind of life you think you want helps crystallize your own plans. Ask your mentors for help and advice. Update them on your progress. As you ascend your career ranks, the world becomes smaller and smaller, and one day your mentors will be your peers! On a personal note, I have mentored many students over the years, and I find it very satisfying. If you are interested in plastic and reconstructive surgery as a career and would like to reach out to me, please contact my office via our website www.LaraDevganMD.com.