Discoveries Magazine

Cedars-Sinai

24 Hours

A young surgical resident.
An accomplished attending surgeon.
A shared portrait.

Even with the many demanding years of schooling it takes to become a doctor, there is no way to complete the training through textbooks, testing, and trial and error alone. The process of mentoring is core to this intense journey.

For the next generation of doctors, mentoring has become something of a science unto itself, allowing those in training the opportunity to spend a great deal of time studying under a lineage of experienced physicians as they work their way up from medical school to the OR. What may be news to many is that Cedars-Sinai is at the forefront of creating and administering cutting-edge programs that support the mentoring process and skills improvement of tomorrow’s medical professionals.

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Danny Shouhed is a third-year surgery resident who specifically chose to do his residency at Cedars-Sinai for this very reason. Danny and Shirin Towfigh, MD—associate professor in the Division of General Surgery and the Center for Minimally Invasive Surgery, and the director of the Medical Student Education Program—have forged a deep mentoring relationship since his arrival here. Photographer Rick Nahmias followed them across the stretch of a normal day, recording each individually as well as during shared moments. This story was shot at a time when Danny was at a significant crossroads in his career: deciding which surgical specialty he wanted to pursue, while Dr. Towfigh was in the throws of a busy summer performing numerous operations, teaching a new class of residents and students, overseeing research projects, and inspiring a whole new corps of surgeons-intraining. The following story looks at a day in the life of these two tireless individuals and how their intersecting paths have brought a greater depth of knowledge and sensitivity to their own lives, as well as to their patients and the greater Cedars-Sinai community.

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