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Interview with Joslyn R. Sciacca Kirby, MD, MEd, MS

Featuring Joslyn Kirby, MD |

Associate Professor of Dermatology
Penn State Health
Hershey, PA

| Published January 09, 2024

In this episode of Under Your Skin, host Dr Nicholas Brownstone engages in a conversation with Dr Jocelyn Kirby to explore strategies for avoiding burnout, time management techniques in clinic, and advice for dermatology residents. 

How do you avoid burnout? 

One key insight from Dr Kirby is the significance of staying connected to the purpose behind her work—the patients. By seeing patients as individuals rather than just by appointment times or medical conditions, she finds a deeper sense of fulfillment. Taking the time to understand her patients on a personal level becomes a meaningful antidote to burnout. 

What is your favorite time management technique in clinic? 

When discussing time management techniques in the clinic, Dr Kirby acknowledges the inevitability of occasionally falling behind schedule. Despite this, she stresses the importance of being present in the moment with each patient. By focusing entirely on the individual she is currently counseling, she avoids distractions related to previous or upcoming appointments, ensuring that each patient receives her full attention and care. 

If you could go back in time to your first day as a dermatology resident, what advice would you give yourself? 

Reflecting on her own journey as a dermatology resident, Dr Kirby recognizes the prevalence of imposter syndrome among her peers. She collaborated on a project with a colleague, Dr Paul Riegen, and discovered that around 90% of dermatology residents experience imposter syndrome, a phenomenon that often extends beyond residency. Her advice to her younger self is to recognize her worth, acknowledge the hard work that brought her to where she is, and trust in the respect and support of her colleagues. This self-assurance, she believes, is key to sustained success in the field.


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