Jerry Brewer, M.D.
How would you describe the Visiting Medical Student Clerkship Program?
"It was amazing. I was astounded at how organized and well run Mayo Clinic is. During my clerkship, I had the opportunity to spend time with some of the most renowned people in dermatology, dermatopathology and dermatological surgery. And I found them all to be so down to earth. It really impressed me. I even got the opportunity to do a research project."
What inspires you about medicine?
"I absolutely love taking part in the care of people. I get a lot of satisfaction helping patients with skin cancer, especially the surgical side of their care. It's great to be able to help patients work through their concerns and get through difficult situations. And also I like the stimulation of research. Through research, there are a lot of opportunities to contribute to the field of medicine."
What do you think are Mayo's strengths?
"One of the most significant strengths of the organization is that everyone puts patients first. It creates an amazing medical environment. Care providers look at patients as a whole, not just as a specific problem. If a patient has a skin problem, and the clinician thinks there may be some underlying issues, a referral is given. And at the end of the patient's experience at Mayo, the clinicians come up with a plan for care that meets all of the patient's health needs. I don't know if there is another clinic anywhere else in the world that does it quite the same way."
What research opportunities do residents have at Mayo Clinic?
"Faculty supports you with however much effort you want to put into research. At some institutions you only have a half-day a week to conduct research, but here in many programs you can get up to a month off from other responsibilities to focus on research projects. Faculty members are very supportive of that, and on the other hand, in my department there is no research requirement. It is strongly recommended, but not required, which makes research all the more fulfilling when you decide to pursue it.
What are your future plans and goals?
"I will be applying for the surgical dermatology fellowship this summer. If I get that appointment, I will do an extra year after I finish residency to be trained in Mohs micrographic surgery. Afterwards, I am interested in academic medicine, so my dream job would be to work at a large academic institution like Mayo Clinic and be a faculty member."
Has Mayo Clinic helped shape your vision?
"Being at Mayo Clinic you get a feel for what excellent patient care is all about. So this place has enlarged my vision for how to offer the best patient care. I recently did a monthlong rotation at the University of San Palo in Brazil. And while I was there, I worked with one of the most renowned dermatologists in Brazil. He spent time at Mayo Clinic in 1952 and was so impressed by what he saw here that he took back a lot of the principles and applied them to his practice in Brazil. They are still being used there today. That's encouraging for me as I work to implement the principles of patient care that I am learning through my training."