This post is from one of the Inspiring Hospice and Palliative Medicine Leaders Under 40. Lindy Landzaat, DO, was selected based on her involvement in AAHPM, educating others about hospice and palliative medicine, participation in charitable work, and mentoring of students or residents. This honoree was then asked who inspired her over the course of her career. We are sharing some of her answers in this post. Check back regularly for posts from other leaders.

Who has most influenced your work in hospice and palliative medicine and what impact has he or she had?
I believe in having multiple mentors for different things. I’m fortunately to have benefitted from the wisdom of many mentors starting from my internship. Two individuals stand out for having most influenced my work. First, Dr. Christian Sinclair who allowed me to rotate as a visiting resident and encouraged my involvement with AAHPM, has been a critical mentor. Dr. Sinclair helped mentor me in developing presentation skills, broaden my use of resources, and continues to help mentor my career development. Dr. Karin Porter-Williamson has been a crucial mentor in these first 5 years as junior faculty helping me grow both as a clinician and as an educator. She is skilled in bedside patient care, understanding palliative care systems development, and overall a great advisor and support. Dr. Porter-Williamson was able to help steer me down the path of medical education even before I could see that path for myself. It’s been fulfilling and I remain thankful for her guidance. Both of these visionary individuals founded and served as the previous fellowship program directors for the KU fellowship that I’m fortunate to now direct. To Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Porter-Williamson, as well as the many influential mentors I’ve had, I remain exceptionally grateful.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself as an associate professor at KU, continuing to grow and enhance our fellowship program. I enjoy interacting with a variety of learners at different levels and will continue to teach. I strive to make meaningful contributions to palliative care medical education, and a variety of clinical areas of interest including palliative pulmonary hypertension, palliative wound care, legacy work. Five years from now, my children will be 7 and 9, and my motherhood mission statement will remain, to be “loving and effective.”

What is the best advice you have ever received?
During my fellowship, I was always impressed by one of my psychosocial faculty member’s ability to analyze and make sense of chaotic situations-ones that could draw you in and quickly become all consuming. My faculty had an ability to step back, take the big picture, reflect on it dispassionately and from all angles, and in such a way that could yield productive outcomes. When I asked, “how do you do THAT?” The faculty member shared with me a resource called the Landmark Education Forum. It was a 3 day course that I eventually attended and it helped me understand my patients and families better, be a more effective clinician, and it offered me insight into personal areas that were limiting me; insight that I never would have gained otherwise. This remains some of the most life changing advice I’ve ever received and I’m thankful each day for it.