5 Rules For Life: Dr. Orit Markowitz

Credit: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Dr. Orit Markowitz is the Director, Pigmented Lesions and Skin Cancer at NYC’s Mount Sinai. She’s pioneered a non-invasive approach to detecting and treating skin cancer. Markowitz’s protocol entails early identification with advanced imaging devices and treatment using a combination of non-ablative lasers that do not cut into the skin unlike invasive surgical procedures, which have previously been the only method of care. With almost no post-treatment downtime and minimal to no scarring, Dr. Markowitz’s approach is the future of skin cancer treatment. Here, she shares her 5 Rules for Life, in her words.

1. Never accept the status quo or let someone tell you it can’t be done. 

Over 10 years ago, I began researching and developing non-invasive detection and treatment for something I was told could not be done: skin cancer. Since then, I have treated thousands of patients safely, effectively and non-invasively.  They leave my office without a band-aid or visible puncture with their skin cancer eradicated.

2. The apple does not fall too far from the tree.

My father was a scientist and innovator. His love of research and discovery was contagious. To lose him early in my life in many ways fueled my desire to work towards helping others.  His endless support spending precious time one-on-one with me covering math and science paved the way for my own abilities to flourish and empowered me to become a scientist and researcher. 

3. The more successful you are, the more obstacles you will encounter 

As a successful woman, educator, researcher and board-certified dermatologist, I’ve been told numerous times throughout my career that obstacles were a measure of my success.  If you can overcome the challenges they will provide the best opportunities for growth.  When I was developing my protocol to treat skin cancer I faced a lot of pushback along the way, but this fueled my progress and achievements. 

4. Try not to reinvent the wheel.

There are so many copycats out there already taking the easy road riding on the coattails of others. There are boundless opportunities to make a difference.  Look for something unique and defining which will provide you with the greatest personal rewards.  

5. Strive to be a good human being and as you do you will help others rise to the occasion.

I recently had the honor of receiving the humanitarian award from the Melanoma Research Foundation for my work on non-invasive detection, management and curing of skin cancer without cutting.  I was fortunate to bring my tween-aged children to this event and can only hope they too, one day, will be recognized for their efforts to help other humans.  

Thanks, Dr. Markowitz! Stay tuned for more 5 Rules installments.

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