Joi Bryant, a junior @pre-med MiOra mentee from Tulane University @TulaneU, interviewed her mentor, Endocrinologist Dr. Gul Bahtiyar, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center @NYULangone. Joi is passionate about caring for patients with @diabetes. Dr. Bahtiyar gave Joi guidance on the educational path, life style and career options for an endocrinologist.
Joi B: Can you describe your profession as an Endocrinologist / a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center?
Dr. Bahtiyar: As an Endocrinologist, I focus on the endocrine system and specifically place emphasis on heart disease, the kidneys, genetics, obesity, and diabetes. It is a great lifestyle, requires a lot of thinking and intellectual skills. There is a lot of reading and writing. One of our goals is to make other doctors, such as family practitioners, aware of the need for diabetes awareness in the community and encourage them to educate their patients about other issues that can often be overlooked.
Joi B: What made you interested in the field?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Before I was into clinical Endocrinology, I was very active in research. I’ve published and learned all of the techniques that I could. And because of my background, Endocrinology fit right in, since it requires so much intellectual skill.
Joi B: What are some of its challenges, and what are some of its benefits? How high is the stress level?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Endocrinology is a very active field and will forever be needed with diabetes being on the rise. So finding a job after residency should not be difficult. There are also large associations to be a part of. I have met so many amazing people through these associations. The older doctors enjoy the younger doctors because we keep them young, while we younger doctors enjoy the older doctors because they pass down their expertise.
Joi B: What do you believe makes endocrinology one of the best medical specialties?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Endocrinology will always be needed in the world, especially with the rise of diabetes. It is very competitive to get into residency in the field, but once you are finished you should easily be able to find a job.
Joi B:: Where do most endocrinologists work? In private practice, research, teaching? University or large systems?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Most endocrinologist are able to practice in endocrinology alone. Research is a big part as well.
Joi B: What characteristics, interests, and skills would you suggest someone who is interested in becoming an endocrinologist have and/or improve upon?
Dr. Bahtiyar: interest in research is very important. But be sure to also focus on getting into medical school. Don’t waste any time. The MCAT is a huge determining factor, and once you’re in medical school, endocrinology will come of you. But something to remember is that being a doctor is not all about your intellect- but it is about your personality and care towards your patients. Are you able to work with others in a team? Are you compassionate and understanding? Do you enjoy helping others? It’s not just about your grades and scores. I see so many medical school applicants and doctors from around the world who have fantastic scores, but their character has to be there as well.
Joi B:How was your journey as an undergraduate to becoming an endocrinologist? What kept you motivated when times got difficult?
Dr. Bahtiyar: I studied in different places around the world and focused on research.
Joi B: What would you advise in regards to staying focused and motivated as an undergrad pre- Med student and attending Medical School?
Dr. Bahtiyar: I would advise you to take advantage of all opportunities and to ask. The worst a professor can say is no.
Joi B: Would you suggest research as being a key for future success as an endocrinologist?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Yes! Research is very important!
Joi B: If you could sum up your life as an endocrinologist in a few words, what would they be?
Dr. Bahtiyar: Great, rewarding, intellectual.
Joi B: I had a fantastic time interviewing Dr. Bahtiyar! It was so great to get advice from someone who has already been where I am and has succeeded. She was very kind, understanding and encouraged me in regards to my next step in my medical journey. Something that she had me consider is the importance of character in the medical field. Yes, intellect is very important, but caring about your patient as a person and wanting to make a difference in their lives is what matters most.