Q&A with Hedda Dyer, M.D.

Hedda Dyer, M.D., is the surgical clerkship director and the associate professor of Anatomy and Introduction to Clinical Medicine at RUSM. In this Q&A, she shares her personal pathway to success and offers guidance to students who are participating in a surgery clerkship or considering a career in the field.

RUSM: What key steps have you taken as a student or during the beginning of your career that have led to your current success? 

DYER: I always tried to think of learning the information as my responsibility towards my future patients. As a patient, I would like my physician to be well-informed and up-to-date with the latest evidence and technology. As a result, I made a conscious decision to take my work seriously because, not only was I learning for myself, I was also learning for my patients. I also vowed never to forget how it was when I was a medical student which helps in my approach to teaching medical students.

RUSM: What can students do to get the most out of a surgery clerkship? 

DYER: As a surgery clerkship is akin to an apprenticeship, any hands-on experience gained during the rotation is welcome. Sit in on the outpatient consults, go to the operating room and observe or, better yet, assist when possible. Go to the tumor boards and other multidisciplinary meetings; learn how to work in a team.

RUSM: Why do you think the resources available through the Renaissance Program are beneficial? 

DYER: As many of the clinical rotations offered by RUSM are located at multiple sites in the US and Dominica, the Renaissance Program allows students to encounter a common ‘virtual’ workplace where they can assess their clinical exposure to the pathologies and patient procedures against a standardized platform which has been developed with them in mind.  By logging into the Renaissance Program, using E*ValueTM and eCollege®, students are able to access complimentary learning tools. RUSM students are encouraged to use this interactive learning tool as a companion throughout their clinical rotations. 

RUSM: What words of wisdom would you like to share?

DYER: Medicine is a noble profession which, by its nature, entails integrity and honesty.  Work diligently and apply yourselves to all that you do, your patients and colleagues are depending on you. And, always remember that hard work never goes unrewarded.