Dr. Amiethab Aiyer, Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Miami and co-founder of Orthomentor, talks about accessible learning resources for medical students worldwide.
- [00:46] Dr. Aiyer’s Background
- [04:02] Why Orthopedic Surgery?
- [10:31] Finding Balance Requires Flexibility
- [13:22] Dr. Aiyer’s Residency Matching Experience
- [19:37] Be Transparent about Your Struggles and Learn from It
- [23:51] Orthomentor
- [36:45] Biggest Change in 2020
- [41:42] Dr. Aiyer’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students
Dr. Erkeda DeRouen chats with Dr. Amiethab Aiyer, an orthopedic surgeon who subspecializes in foot and ankle surgery. He is also an assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Miami. Passionate about education and mentorship, he has co-founded Orthomentor to provide accessible learning resources for medical students worldwide.
Why Orthopedic Surgery?
Dr. Aiyer lost his mother to breast cancer when he was a young adolescent. Throughout his mother’s fight against breast cancer, he felt powerless to help her. This painful event was the catalyst for him to become a physician. Initially, he wanted to specialize in pediatric oncology but later on realized that it wasn’t the right field for him.
Unexpectedly, Dr. Aiyer found his calling in orthopedics. As a student, he was unenthusiastic towards his orthopedics rotation but was surprised by how much it fascinated him. Up until today, he still carries the same passion and excitement from when he started.
Residency Matching in Orthopedic Surgery
Orthopedic surgery is a competitive field to specialize in. Despite Dr. Aiyer’s best efforts, he was left unmatched on his first try. Afterwards, he seized research opportunities to bolster his CV for his next application. He was able to match into a residency program on his second try.
It was during this time off that Dr. Aiyer was able to learn more about himself. Instead of being discouraged, he viewed the rejection as a challenge. Struggles allow you to stay grounded and to keep yearning for progress. It’s a chance to identify areas for improvement.
Orthomentor’s mission is to change the way mentorship is typically done. Not only that, the platform also aims to provide quality content for students on a regular basis. At the start, the team focused on generating content for Instagram. As they got more doctors involved, Orthomentor has been able to provide more resources like podcasts, webinars, interviews, and Q&As. These initiatives were well received by medical students all over the world, especially now that learning opportunities are limited by COVID-19. Orthomentor’s content is tailored to students’ needs and inquiries in order to stay relevant and helpful.
Biggest change in 2020
One of the major changes brought about in 2020 is the increased anxiety in students. Medical school is already challenging by itself, but the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced even more uncertainty. The announcement of universal interview dates for certain rotations has also contributed to more worry. There is now an added challenge for students to impress preceptors and interviewers without having face to face interactions.
Dr. Aiyer’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished. If you’re going through a rough phase in life, know that you’ll get through it. It’s perfectly normal to experience hardship. These challenges are opportunities for growth.
You are never alone in this journey, people around you can support you. Look for mentors that you can learn from. Mentorship is a two-way street. Both parties should continuously educate one another. Cultivate these kinds of relationships early on because it is beneficial for self-development.
Check out Orthomentor’s website to learn more about what they do. For more content, visit their Instagram and YouTube. If you’d like to get in touch with Dr. Aiyer, send him an email at [email protected].