Update on Portal Hypertension
06 August 2018 (online)
Thank you, Bart Thornburg, for guest editing the current Portal Hypertension issue of Seminars in Interventional Radiology. I first met Bart when he was an applicant for our fellowship training program in interventional radiology at Northwestern University in Chicago. Bart was an excellent candidate with great interview skills. Bart also had the backing of a well-known and highly respected mentor, Dan Brown. We felt fortunate that Bart chose to pursue his IR training at Northwestern; we feel even more fortunate that Bart chose to join our practice upon completion of his fellowship.
Bart has been a phenomenal addition to our team, and he has made tremendous strides in creating his own identity within our specialty. Bart has gravitated toward complex procedures: thoracic duct and portal hypertension interventions. While all of us would like to claim credit for mentoring Bart along the way, it is no accident that Bart has gravitated toward domains largely developed by Riad Salem. While I have not spoken to Bart about this, I imagine that Bart has enjoyed Riad's mentorship much as I have throughout my career. Riad is a dedicated and loyal person, and he is an aggressive and creative interventional radiologist. As a mentor, he provides opportunities, allowing others to succeed through their own hard work. He opens doors, providing an example of the effort and dedication required to succeed.
I am proud to name Riad as a colleague and friend. Over the past 17 years, he has become family. Our relationship started with his mentorship; his willingness to give me an opportunity to get involved in researching a new procedure he was pursuing: radioembolization. I have certainly had other mentors in my medical career: most notably Bob Ryu and Reed Omary.
While the approach and message of our mentors vary, their capacity to inspire, drive, and support is consistent. I want to acknowledge my father, John F. Lewandowski, as my most influential mentor and source of inspiration. His encouragement, wisdom, and occasional tough love drove me to be successful yet his humanness kept me grounded. One of my biggest life's accomplishment was gaining my father's respect through his words, “I am proud of you.” My father passed away this year March 23 and I miss him dearly.
As our specialty is evolving with the development of a new training paradigm integrating young physicians into our residency programs, I think it important to remember that in our own ways, we can all serve as mentors to the future of our specialty. We need to recognize that we can all be mentors. Little things said and done can inspire greatness. With so many talented people in our specialty, the future is bright.