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Winning With Women Wednesday – An Interview With Nora Lynn San Diego, MD

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Winning With Women Wednesday – An Interview With Nora Lynn San Diego, M.D. (2)

Get to know Nora-Lynn San Diego

Name:  Nora-Lynn San Diego, MD

Nora-Lynn Sandiego

Nora-Lynn San Diego, MD

Education:  Bachelor’s Degree in English from Brooklyn College, Medical degree from Far Eastern University,  Residency training in Psychiatry at University of Medicine and Dentistry/Robert Wood Johnson-Cooper Hospital, Fellowship training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Universities of Columbia and Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospital

Organization: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical College (WCMC,) NYP-Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB)

Position: Assistant Medical Director for NYP-Center for Autism, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College

Time with the organization:  7.5 years

Organization headquarters:  New York


1. Nora, please share what your role as an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College embodies? What responsibilities and duties do you oversee and part take in? As an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry, I have the pleasure of being in the role of educator and supervisor for resident physicians, medical students, psychology interns/externs and nurse practitioners at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In addition to lecturing on core concepts of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry in relation to Autism and other developmental disabilities, I provide clinical supervision for young trainees, as they learn how to work with and provide psychiatric care for this population of individuals.

2. Do you have a quote, mantra or tip regarding how our audience could manage their one-to-one personal interactions better? Listening is just as important as talking when it comes to effective communication. In my professional experience, I find that many individuals that struggle with listening to others, whether in their personal lives or at work, have difficulties sustaining good relationships with the people around them.

3. Who was an influential boss/mentor for you and in what ways did they shape you to become the leader you are today? My mother. A very petite lady but a real spitfire. She came as one of the first over-seas nursing recruits to work in Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn back in the 60s. Despite the immigrant struggle that she encountered as a young Filipina in 60s America, her conversations about the past were largely devoted to the kind and compassionate people that she met throughout her life, both personally and professionally. She taught me that the quality of the people you choose to surround yourself with will determine how difficult the climb to success will be.

4. Have you ever mentored anyone? What are your top three pieces of advice for your mentees? Yes. 1) Be passionate about your work. If you do not have passion, it may not be the right job for you. 2) Fall seven times, stand up eight! Everybody makes mistakes. It is how you get good at what you do. 3) Learn to let go of what does not work or cannot be fixed.

5. What do you think the greatest challenge is for the New York Presbyterian -Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) today? Most physicians are committed to their patients. But to do so within the pressures of healthcare reform can be quite disheartening and mentally exhausting.

6. What is the highlight of your work week? I look forward to peer supervision with my colleagues. Having a forum to discuss interesting cases or problems encountered over the week helps all of us think and re-think our approaches to patient care and how to deliver the best care possible.

7. What is it about your current role at the New York Presbyterian-WCMC that sets it apart from other organizations? I have been given an incredible opportunity to work with seasoned clinicians and researchers from multiple disciplines. These individuals have devoted their lives to enhancing the diagnosis and delivery of care to people with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental disabilities. To care for children truly takes a village and I am fortunate to be a part of that.

8. How do you stay abreast of hot topics within your industry? New York Presbyterian- WCMC provides weekly grand round lectures with expert discussants in the areas of psychiatry and psychology. This keeps staff up-to-date with the latest research and glimpses into what the future holds for different conditions that many individuals struggle with on a daily basis.

9. When speaking to others about New York Presbyterian-WCMC, what is the most important message you want them to take away from your conversation? Our faculty prides itself on our commitment to the education of our medical students and residents.

10. Where do you see New York Presbyterian –WCMC in 5 years? With our current research in Autism Spectrum Disorders already underway, I hope to see an advance in treatment options for individuals that struggle with this disorder.

11. How does New York Presbyterian -Weill Cornell Medical College help women succeed in their careers? OR (You could also speak to how it has enabled you to be successful in your role). NYP-WCMC has given me the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and dedicated women in healthcare. My first inpatient team on our adolescent unit was comprised mostly of women and it gave me a positive perspective of what it is like to work with a cohesive, supportive team that defied the negative stereotypes of women in the workplace that so many young girls are raised to believe.

12. What would you do if you had one more hour in your day? I would spend that hour meeting with my staff individually for their input on how we are doing and how things could be done differently if it were up to them. Giving your staff a platform to voice their ideas shows that their opinions are valued, regardless of where you might lead them in the end.

Do you know a Winning Woman who you feel should be featured on our Winning With Women Wednesday blog series?

If you would like to nominate someone, please feel free to send us their information and why you consider them an ideal candidate: Click here to send an email

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