Ophthalmology off the Grid
Episode 91

Survive & Thrive: Networking Like a Pro

In this episode, host Gary Wörtz, MD, is joined by Cherie Fathy, MD, and Nandini Venkateswaran, MD, along with special guest Bill Trattler, MD, for a discussion about how to network in a way that is enjoyable and leads to genuine and lasting relationships.

Gary Wörtz, MD: Open, outspoken. It's Ophthalmology off the Grid, an honest look at controversial topics in the field. I'm Gary Wörtz.

Speaker 2: Welcome to another episode of Ophthalmology off the Grid’s Survive and Thrive series.

Today, Dr. Gary Wörtz is joined by Drs. Cherie Fathy and Nandini Venkateswaran and special guest Dr. Bill Trattler for a discussion on networking like a pro. They talk about how to network in a way that’s enjoyable and results in real and lasting connections with colleagues in ophthalmology.

Coming up, on Off the Grid.

Gary: Welcome to Ophthalmology Off the Grid: Survive and Thrive. This is Dr. Gary Wörtz, and tonight I'm super excited to have with me my cohost Nandini Venkateswaran as well as Cherie Fathy, and we have another special guest who I'll introduce in a minute. We're talking about networking tonight, networking like a pro. When I think about networking, it's sort of almost like a dirty word in business because networking implies that we're going to be utilizing people as objects for future use or leveraging a relationship for something, for our own personal gain. That's not really the kind of networking we're talking about tonight. We're talking about making really true connections with people. We're talking about making lasting friendships.

We're talking about forging win-win relationships, where you want to help someone because you really enjoy that person, and you have had a great relationship with them, and you want the best for them. That's the kind of networking that I'm interested in. I think that's the kind of networking that is really the type that is, I think, most long-lasting and enjoyable. Tonight, our special guest is probably my favorite networker, maybe the best networker in the world, not just ophthalmology, the one, the only Dr. Bill Trattler. Bill, without further ado, I'd love for you to give us a little bit of an intro for anyone who doesn't know you, maybe just, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know you, but if someone doesn't know you, give a little bit of a blurb on your practice and where you're at, and I'd love for you to give us a little blurb on how you feel relationships have influenced your career so far.

Bill Trattler, MD: Yeah, absolutely, Gary, and no question relationships have made such a difference. But first, my name is Bill Trattler. I'm from Miami, Florida. I'm part of a large group. We have 15 ophthalmologists and three optometrists at the Center for Excellence in Eye Care. We're a private practice, but we love teaching. We have medical students that we teach as well as residents. It's really fun. We get to do research and get to work with new technologies. I guess my story really starts with, when I was young, kind of Nandini's level, and some of that, maybe a year or two after I got, I was really excited, I got invited to this really wonderful conference. I got invited to go, and I get to this conference, and it's kind of, I thought it was pretty special. Then I got there, and I realized, I didn't really know anyone.

It was very awkward. I got there and I remember sitting at a table at dinner, at this big round table, but I introduced myself a little bit, but it still felt very awkward because I didn't know anybody. I didn't have any connections at that point. I thought to myself, "Wow, I do know a lot of people in ophthalmology, but why are none of my friends here, people I know here, at least I have a connection with?" I realized that it's much more fun to go to conferences, do clinical trials, do research, do so many things together, write articles with your friends and colleagues. That was kind of my impetus that made me say, “OK, I want things to be a little different.” I realized that we can make a difference by just helping our friends and our peers and make a difference.

Gary: Yeah. I've got to brag on you a little bit because when I was just getting out of residency, I had a similar experience. I went to the Academy meeting and I was just so alone. I had my co-residents there, but otherwise, it just seemed like this overwhelming experience. Cherie, have you been to the Academy meeting or ASCRS yet?

Cherie Fathy, MD: I went last year to AAO.

Gary: OK. Did it seem overwhelming a little bit?

Cherie: A hundred percent. I was lost the entire time. I didn't know where to go or what to do.

Gary: Right. Right. All you see are these blinking lights of all these new machines that you realize that you're never going to be able to afford. Nandini, have you had the same kind of experience in settings like that? It's kind of overwhelming.

Nandini Venkateswaran, MD: Oh, absolutely. You walk in and you see 20 people, all of whom are trying to give six talks at the same time, running from one room to the next. I'm like, "I'm sorry, which building am I in right now? Where am I supposed to be?"

Gary: Well, I remember seeing Kerry Solomon and Eric Donnenfeld and Ed Holland giving a talk and thinking, "How would I ever get to know these guys in a million years, in a thousand lifetimes?" I felt this big chasm between where I was and meeting people that I thought were really smart and really interesting. I just didn't know how to do that or if there was even an avenue for that, but along comes this thing called iConnect on the ASCRS website. They've got this chat board, which for the younger folks, before Facebook and Twitter and Snapchat and Instagram and LinkedIn, there were these things called message boards. People would actually communicate on the internet through message boards. For me, that was almost my first foray into networking.

That's how Bill and I met. It was online. It was like online dating, right? I threw a couple of cases and questions out about PRK or LASIK and Bill responded. I was like, "Oh my gosh, I've read about Bill Trattler. I've seen his name in these magazines. Bill Trattler's kind of a big deal. Now I'm talking to him online and this is really cool." That was really the first spark for me to realize that all these people that you read about and you see and you think are on a different level, with the first engagement, almost all of them are just super ready to take you under their wing, have a conversation with you, take you out for dinner or a drink, and invest in you. I had no idea that it was like that.I was so happy to find that out.

I'd love to know, Cherie and Nandini, have you guys had any experiences like that, where you met a person, and then that person was your entree? Bill introduced me to Tammy Bogetti, and he introduced me to George Waring. If you know Bill Trattler and Tammy Bogetti and George Waring, the world is your oyster. You are one phone call away from anyone. I'd love for you guys to tell me, did you have an experience where the world opened up to you inside of ophthalmology? Nandini, I'll start with you. Go ahead.

Nandini: I feel like Dr. Trattler was also my introduction to the world of ophthalmology. I met him in Miami because I was a resident at Bascom Palmer, and then we were getting along on social, seeing each other at different meetings. I remember this time last year, we were at the Advanced Refractive Congress, where he invited me to speak on a panel, and I met you Dr. Wörtz, and I was like, "I finally get to meet the man of Ophthalmology Off the Grid.” I'm meeting all of these great people, part of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, and then I'm telling Dr. Trattler how I'm looking for a job, then I get this email from Cedars Aspen being like they're looking for a doctor at Mass Eye and Ear, why don't you meet Katie Hatch? Then, there comes my job.

I just think a lot of these fortuitous experiences are what make ophthalmology so fun. The world is so small, and I was just a fellow. I'm super intimidated to meet all these big names and talk to them. I don't even know if what I'm saying is meaningful to them, but people are just, I completely agree, so willing to take you under their wing and so excited to help train the next generation of ophthalmologists. That's what's so nice. Dr. Trattler introduced me to Tammy Bogetti as well, which helped me get involved with this podcast. I think all of those opportunities are wonderful.

Gary: Yeah, Cherie, what about your situation?

Cherie: Yeah, I think it's such a common thread in ophthalmology, and it's why we're so lucky to be a part of this. I'd love to talk to you guys later, because I'll be joining the job hunt quite soon, which is terrifying. I first actually had my glimpse of what ophthalmology and networking and mentorship in ophthalmology would look like as a sophomore in college, which is, looking back, a little bit ridiculous. I don't think I really understood what the hierarchy was in ophthalmology. I just thought this could be a cool specialty. I think I'm going to go to med school. Why don't I email Dr. Paul Sternberg, who was at the time, the chair of the Vanderbilt Eye Institute, he's the chairman, he's now one of the head people at VUNC in general. But this, one, speaks to how awesome Vanderbilt is at mentorship, and two, just how incredible of a mentor Dr. Sternberg is. He read my email. He actually met with me. He could have very well sent me to a medical student coordinator or something. Since then, he just became one of my closest mentors throughout all of med school while I was applying.

Really, not just a mentor, something that I really like to differentiate between is a mentor and a sponsor, I think he really just, when I went to go apply for programs, was constantly, had my back. Really would tell me about where he thinks I would be a good fit, reach out to people on my behalf, introduce me to people. He actually reminds me a lot about, also at Vanderbilt, Dr. Janice Law, which if anyone's been involved with AOIO, is just an incredible resource. She got to be all mine at Vanderbilt for a little bit. She's just another person who I can just text and say, "I want to do this project, or I want to get involved in this." It could be 10 p.m. and she'll call you, or she will find whoever is necessary to get you in touch with the right people. It's just been, that's just my first glimpse, and I can't wait. I hope that same amount of help is available for me when I start looking for jobs. It's just been such a wonderful resource.

Gary: Yeah, I actually got to meet Dr. Paul Sternberg when I interviewed at Vanderbilt many years ago, and I got to meet Dr. Janice Law. She was one of the few retina specialists who came to a MillennialEYE meeting. Bill, that might've been the MillennialEYE in Miami at the Fontainebleau, I think, but I don't know. I wouldn't swear to it. It might have been Austin or Nashville. One thing I tell my kids, because I got started young, I got married early in life and had kids in med school, so I've got a daughter who's a rising sophomore in college and a senior in high school, my son is a senior, I've told them through the years, I've said if you want to make friends, everybody likes a compliment, but don't overdo it, and everybody's favorite topic is themselves.

If you run out of things to say, just ask somebody about themselves, and they'll carry the conversation. I do feel like, in my world, whether it's podcasting and getting to meet people virtually, or sitting down to dinner, that's been my playbook. It's not really that complex or complicated, but I really do enjoy, as much as I talk, and I'm not being a good example of this, I really do love listening to people and finding out what makes them tick and finding out their story. What do you feel like, do you feel like you've seen other residents do this? Either on Twitter, or even medical students, have you seen, I feel like Twitter has become almost the new networking opportunity for med students. Nandini or Bill, Cherie, what do you think about using social media for networking for maybe the younger folks?

Cherie: I have a pretty cool story from social media. I was introduced to someone through a mutual friend, and this person actually ended up becoming one of my best friends, o­­ne of my business partners when I launched my nonprofit in med school. I actually didn't meet her. We only interacted via social media and email until her engagement day. It was maybe like 6 months of us building a company together. We only met online, and then we met eventually when she got engaged.

Gary: She was a real person?

Cherie: She's a real person! This is what was so terrifying, I called my dad and I was like, "Just FYI, I'm going to this person's engagement party, I hope. Please call me when I land in Houston and make sure that I actually make it to this party." But we had mutual friends, so it wasn't 100% random, but we ended up really being influenced by each other. She's actually now, this is Batoul Abuharb, she's now actually an assistant professor of optometry at Baylor. That's just how much we worked off of each other. She just gave me so many effective ideas for networking. I learned a lot from her. I think our biggest thing is just shoot your shot, just try it.

We would send cold call emails for our nonprofit. We sent an email to the director of the UN Relief and Works agency and just decided to shoot him a project idea, see if he was receptive. He ended up being one of our biggest advocates, and he was the reason why we were able to deliver our telehealth services to refugees in the Middle East. I think our biggest thing was that we sold him on an idea and then from early on and continuously, we delivered on that promise. That was a huge thing for us. We did a lot of cold call emails. What's the worst— they don't reply? That's fine. Even if they say no, they took the time to respond to your email. It's worth just seeing if they have any advice or if they can connect you to someone, and then being able to use your contacts to get you to where you need to be.

Batoul is an incredible example of this. She has so many friends in different networks. I think when you're just genuine and honest and passionate about your service or what you can provide to people, people are going to want to help you. I think that's definitely the case in ophthalmology. I think she was exceptionally good at sharing her elevator pitch about our company and good enough so that we ended up being invited to the White House, and President Obama gave a speech about our nonprofit. It was surreal. She's just very talented in that regard, and just taught me a lot about, have the hustle, be excited, shoot your shot, just try, and see what happens.

Gary: OK. This is a whole other podcast we're going to have to have now because you just dropped a huge bomb of interesting things I could talk about forever, but we'll save that for another time, but tell us your nonprofit’s name and how people can get more information about it.

Cherie: Yeah. We're called Dunia Health-

Gary: Spell that out for us.

Cherie: Dunia is Arabic for world, D-U-N-I-A Health. At this point, we are actually so successful that we've worked ourselves out of a job right now. The UN has, the UN Relief and Works Agency ended up adopting our services, which was SMS Technology to alert patients about missed appointments. We're always excited to look at new projects and new populations. We're more than happy to connect with people. We're on all the social media outlets. You can find us there.

Gary: That is fantastic. That is fantastic. Nandini, what do you think about social media in the age of networking? Especially for young doctors.

Nandini: I think it's become very important actually. I just started a Twitter probably like 4 or 5 months ago. It's started to become a really nice way to connect with docs from all different institutions, all around the world. It's fun, like we were just talking about with Cherie, how she posed a question on what should I do to prepare to start cataract surgery my third year of residency? People are responding. Like cataract coach, Uday Devgan, has a thought. Malik Kahook has a thought. You're like, "Oh, cool, let me see what they have, and let me learn from them."

I think even on Instagram, many young physicians are creating accounts that are creating communities and meetings and meeting each other. Many of them have probably not met in person yet, but they've created this online community that has served as a source of resources for young and training physicians. It's also, I think, a nice way to keep in touch. I felt like I've met a lot of these physicians at smaller meetings, like MillennialEYE or the Mid-Year Forum. Then you can continually still communicate with them informally on social media. It's not like a formal email or a formal conversation. It's an ongoing banter that keeps things fun, but also keeps you connected and in line of sight for these people.

Bill: It's so interesting, talking about social media, Nandini, because there's two, I think two areas in social media; you can be an influencer and get involved with the public, or we can have more of a private with physicians. I see that there's definitely, you can use social media in different ways. Going back to what Gary talked about, which is the ASCRS iConnect and there's also something called Care Net. Those are physician-only groups and they have the same type of thing on Facebook, and I've seen it other places too, where you have to be a member to be involved, but then you can connect with other people.

The nice thing about Facebook, for example, is that you can see the pictures of the people and stuff like that. They're all very helpful for asking questions, asking ideas and really communicate really well. There's also the, you could start your own Instagram account and really try to reach out to the public and be an influencer and share ideas on and make a difference. For example, whether it's, like Cherie did and what her goals were, where you have an idea that you want to change something else…and things like that. Really get people outside of ophthalmology involved. That's where Instagram and even TikTok and things like that can possibly, you can get a following and make a difference.

Gary: I also think that something Cherie said is really interesting. I sort of got used to this, back in my days when I was dating, is just rejection, right? It's different when you're just asking a colleague for some help, but it feels the same. You're introducing yourself, you're asking somebody for some form of connection or relationship, and I got rejected a lot, and I just got used to that, and it just stopped bothering me. I mean, I remember one of my friends said one time, he's like, "If you ask a girl to a dance and she says 'No,' just say, 'Why are you being so picky? I'm not.'"

Nandini: That's terrible.

Gary: That's horrible. I may have actually used that a couple of times, to be honest. I'm not proud of that. The point is, if you ask somebody, like if you try to engage someone and they rebuff you, it really says more about them than it says about you, right? You don't have to take it personally, if you try to reach out to somebody and they don't give you the time of day, you're no worse off. Just onto the next person. You probably didn’t want that person in your life because they were not going to be the kind of mentor that you needed, or sponsor that you needed.

I think a lot of life is a numbers game. Just finding that right connection, whether it's a match for a romantic relationship or whether it's a match for a mentor or a sponsor. I think sometimes you just have to realize that there's going to be some level of rejection. You have to put yourself out there. Don't take it personally if it doesn't work out, and just onto the next. If it's not meant to be, the world is full of other people you can engage with. Is that too callous? Bill, you think that's a good method?

Bill: That is. Obviously, we all want to be liked, and it's hard to, I don't know if I can take rejection as easily as you can.

Gary: I had a lot of practice, though. I had a lot of practice, so that's where I got expertise at it.

Bill: That's so funny. I think, I guess when you ask people, I guess as you build up your networks with people, like on Facebook or other things, and you ask people to be your connections, you can see how many people say yes versus how many people just decline. I guess you must have a lot of declines, but that's OK.

Gary: It's getting real. It's getting real in here.

Bill: I did have a question, so do you think that…really, what's the future? Is it really going to be, is it more Instagram? Is it more Twitter? Is it more TikTok? Is it more Facebook? Or is it going to be a different social media? What do you think the future is going to be for social media? Where should we be looking towards? What's the best platform, or do we need to be on all of them?

Cherie: I think it's a hard question, because as you were alluding to, I think they each serve a different purpose. I think, at least as someone who's thinking of starting her own practice, who's going to start her own clinical practice, Instagram seems to be a really nice way to get to know the public and marketing yourself as say, a LASIK refractive surgeon, hitting that 20s to 30s demographic. I feel like Twitter has become more of a platform where I'm communicating with more physicians or at least reporting more scientific data. Facebook almost to me seems like more of a personal connection. I post something, and everyone I've known in my whole life responds to it.

I graduated, and it's like my mom's friend and then Dr. Trattler, so it's the whole spectrum. Then things like LinkedIn, I haven't used as much, but I think in other fields it serves as more of a networking, job search opportunity. TikTok is just great. I still can't figure it out. Like, if someone could give me a tutorial, that'd be fantastic. Maybe I can use that as part of my marketing scheme? Yeah, I think it's exciting. I think it's something that, even if it's uncomfortable for a lot of us, I think we do need to jump on the game, because I think it's changing the way that we're all networking. A lot of meetings aren't happening in person. A lot of it's going to be virtual. We need to find ways to keep our voices heard through these changing times.

Gary: Yeah, I think that, I mean, I personally, I have a different take. Is anyone else worried about cancel culture? I guess, as we're talking about social media and networking, the negative side of it is real. I do worry a little bit about, not that I would say anything that I think would be wrong, but just even something taken out of context. I've had some situations where, for example, in 2016, I think I had posted something on Facebook that I had been operating something like 20 of the past 28 hours or something like that. I'd operated all day. I'd gone home, gone to sleep and then operated another like 12 hours. I had someone basically say like, "I don't think you should be writing this, because if a patient found out about that, they could potentially sue you for being fatigued," or something like that. I had this weird sense of, I don't want to have to be that responsible for monitoring and filtering everything I say. I found myself over-analyzing the stuff I was posting.

If I was on vacation, I was worried that if I posted this, then maybe someone who can't afford to go on vacation is going to feel a little bit jealous or bad, or maybe someone who doesn't like me, that I'm friends with, is going to break into my house. There's all these worries that I guess, maybe I'm just over-analyzing it a little bit. I do think there's a…you have to be careful about sharing too much about yourself, because patients might see it, your staff may see it and be a little bit like, "Oh, it must be nice that you get to go X, Y, and Z." I sort of have taken a little bit more of a measured approach. My name on Twitter is not my real name. I'm not on Instagram. I'm not on Facebook anymore. LinkedIn, I think is just bots. I just can't tell if anyone on LinkedIn is a real person, but I'm on LinkedIn, and you can find me and I'd be happy to connect. But what, Cherie, what do you think about that? What do you think about weighing the pros and cons of networking?

Cherie: I think you bring up such an important point, and especially nowadays, I think people are already sensitized to potentially putting something that could upset people. As someone who is currently trying to work on their professional profiles, I also help run the Wills’ resident's Instagram, you have to think about, it's almost, you just, you have to think about, could this upset someone?

Gary: Right.

Cherie: Even something as simple as, is everyone masked? Because things could be misinterpreted. It's really important to look at everything that you post as both objectively and subjectively as possible. Think about, would I ever be embarrassed to say that I've written this? Is there any, and sometimes you can't be this conclusive, but as much as possible, is there a way that this could be misinterpreted that could hurt me or hurt my institution? You're also, all of us are representing institutions that we care about, and you don't want to be someone that could eventually inadvertently hurt that place's reputation or something because you posted something without thinking thoroughly.

Gary: Right. Right. I would, again, I've told my kids, if you would not want your grandmother to put that post on her refrigerator, don't put it online.

Bill: I will say, but it can be fun too, it can be very powerful for helping other people to be more successful. When I see someone do something really well, or I see a news article, or I see them in a publication, I'll actually post on their page and say, "Congratulations, I saw this." I’ll call out someone, Ranya Habash, who has been working at Bascom Palmer, who Nandini knows, is working with…telemedicine, and her work I mentioned on the Senate floor, I guess, in some committee on how telemedicine is the future of healthcare. Her name was actually in this bulletin. I actually posted on our Facebook page to share the news, like, "Wow, she's really making a positive difference." I just did really think it coul, help, when we see our colleagues doing really great things, you can actually use social media to help share the positive news.

Gary: I definitely think that's the most, that's probably the best way we can use social media. It's likely the most altruistic, where we're really not trying to promote ourselves, but we're actually using the platform to promote other people. I don't think you can almost ever go wrong with that. I agree. The other day I saw that Bindu Manne was featured on LinkedIn for being a featured member of OWL. I just typed, "Congratulations, Bindu. Everyone loves Bindu." It's so nice when you do see people that are doing a great job, just to give them a little bit of kudos. I think that's fantastic.

Let's talk a little bit about, we're in the middle of a pandemic, we all are kind of Zoom fatigued.We're all trying to do social distancing. In this time right now, what do you all feel like are the best ways to try to actually connect with people? I think that we're all getting a little bit burned out with the things we've been doing. Is there anything that you've found recently that has been a good way to connect with people? We're not going to meetings, and it looks like we're not going to meetings for any time in the near future, and Bill, in the past, I would love for you to just, before we get into that, I would love for you to give your spiel on going to the smaller meetings and really getting engaged, because that I think is such a powerful message, especially for younger ophthalmologists.

Bill: Absolutely. As you know, I love meetings. I think that the American Academy of Ophthalmology and ASCRS are wonderful large meetings, but it's the smaller meetings where you get a chance to really interact with everyone at the meetings and get to know them. That's how, when I was early in my career, I got to meet some really well-known physicians and ophthalmologists, but it also allowed me to learn from them. Since they had a chance to see me on the smaller stage, they then invited me to be involved on the bigger stage, like at ASCRS and AAO.

As I got more involved, going to these smaller meetings, networking, getting to meet them, I also got involved in clinical trials, some research, articles, tons of opportunities when you go to smaller meetings. Plus, you became friends with everyone. It was really a wonderful opportunity. I typically go to about 15 to 20 meetings every year, because I really love going there. It's actually a huge change in my life, and I'm sure for everyone, since we're not traveling, but obviously there's been some good things with that challenge. But these small meetings really can make a big difference in our careers. We're always better doctors. We learn so much in these smaller meetings, where you learn new techniques, new pearls in a really one-on-one situation. Anyway, I'm a big fan.

Nandini: I actually would say, from a trainee perspective, smaller meetings are huge. When I was a third-year resident, I tried to present at the Cornea and Eye Banking Forum and MillennialEYE and ASCRS. I was actually presenting in front of a lot of the people I interviewed with for my cornea fellowship interview. It ended up being a really nice way to informally network with them, but they've seen you do something academic, and then there's something for you guys to talk about when you meet in person in that interview setting.

That, actually for me, was a really powerful way to network. I introduce myself to people that I've interviewed for with residency and fellowship, I'm like, "Hi, do you remember me? I'm Nandini. I trained at Bascom. I really enjoyed your interview." It's just a nice way to start a conversation, and you'll be surprised how many people actually remember you and are more than happy to chat with you and see how you're doing and catch up. For trainees, I think that's actually really important, even virtually, to be able to try to get your name out there and present and so forth is very helpful for networking.

Cherie: I think in the inter-COVID era, I've asked probably maybe a little more than I normally would have, for people who I know to connect me with people who I may want to connect with when it's possible to meet with in person again, or now, as I'm preparing to apply for a cornea fellowship, just people who I think I would like to speak with beforehand, just so that there's some mild name recognition when my application comes forward. It's definitely, and I would love to hear from you guys, especially, how do we as trainees who are in this place where we're applying in kind of an odd climate, how do you reach out to people and be, not memorable, but just remembered during a time where it's, you're not necessarily going to meet them in person, and you're not getting those normal networking opportunities. Right now, I'm just asking people to connect me via email for opportunities, again, asking heavily for that sponsorship type of mentorship. But I'd love to hear from you guys, how does one connect without being annoying? What are ways to be helpful or ways to connect with people during this time?

Gary: One thing I would say is, because we're all sort of cloistered in our own area, if you're a resident, try to forge a deeper relationship with your program director or some of your attendings. Maybe take on a project that maybe you wouldn't otherwise take on or extra responsibilities, because their connections become your connections if they like you. If they really like you, they're going to be your sponsor. That's the thing that I think I missed out on a little bit was, I did not do a fellowship. I really feel like one of the most important things in the fellowship, beyond just what you learn from a surgical skill perspective, is, if you do a good job and you are a trustworthy, good surgeon, your fellowship mentor is going to be your job connect. He or she, they're going to call someone and say, "You have to hire Cherie, because she is fantastic eight different ways." That, you're done, game over. Someone's going to hire you because of the trust that you are basically being given by proxy through your fellowship or your mentor. Bill, any other thoughts on that?

Bill: No, I mean, I think starting from home makes sense, figuring out, Cherie, what places you want to go to and that's going to really help influence you on how to connect with those people. If you want to go to Bascom Palmer, there's someone right here, right now, you can just speak to, and she could give you some pearls on who to reach out to. She may have some ideas, for example, Bascom Palmer is having virtual grand rounds every Thursday morning. Maybe you log into a couple so you have a little connection, or maybe that person that you're going to be interviewing with is actually presenting or doing something there, and you could actually say, "Oh, by the way, I've been watching some virtual grand rounds because I'm interested in Bascom Palmer. I really liked what you said." Things like that could be very helpful, showing that you're really interested in the program.

Gary: Yeah. Being sincere and showing sincere interest is, I don't think there's any substitute for that.

Thank you, guys. This has been a wonderful time to see your faces. We're doing this via Zoom. You're going to hear this as a podcast. You'll get the audio, everyone else will get the audio version of this, but it's been really fun to see all you all.

I really, as I started this off, I don't look at networking as this thing that we do, but really this experience that we all live together with people that we really enjoy being with. I view it as really an extension of my personal friendships. Maybe during this time when we're all separated, we can reflect a little bit more on how much we enjoy the company of our friends and how we can't wait to get back together when we're on the other side of this. I really appreciate you all giving of yourselves tonight and sharing your perspectives. We will meet again soon.

Speaker 2: Thank you to our contributors for joining for another episode of the Survive and Thrive series, and thanks to Dr. Trattler for sharing his expertise.

This has been Ophthalmology off the Grid. Until next time.

7/30/2020 | 36:40

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