Jo Marie Reilly

Keck School of Medicine of USC
Jo Marie Reilly
Photo by Steve Cohn Photography

Plutarch believed that “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

What sets us apart as mentors is the ability to sit down, listen to students’ stories with genuine interest, truly care about our learners and be present to them in the moment. I find great joy in recognizing the potential in students, encouraging and pushing them to stretch, dream, and believe in themselves, and help them bring their potential to light. I believe that excellent teaching and mentoring are interdisciplinary; they demand inclusiveness—fostering and building a sense of belonging for all. Excellent mentorship is critical for our future generation of student leaders and it is a privilege for me to be a part of students’ journeys. It requires both a passion to teach, learn, and share what I know and a humility to learn from others and reach out when I don’t know.

I have been grateful for the mentorship that I have received. It has always pushed me to “dig deeper” and give my very best to the patients and students with whom I work. I believe that an inspired mentor stirs the soul in the quiet moments that only good mentors can, satiating learners’ curiosities and stimulating them to do more. Ultimately it is a gift to help students lead more passionate and compassionate lives, reaching and achieving their aspirations and goals.