Dr Kassahun Bilcha: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself in The Second Chapter of My Life

September 13, 2021

Dr. Kassahun Bilcha is a Dermatologist in Dulles and Centreville, Virginia. His services include medical, surgical, & cosmetic dermatology.

Asa part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Kassahun Bilcha.

Dr. Kassahun Bilcha is a distinguished dermatologist currently practicing at U.S. Dermatology Partners Dulles in Northern Virginia. He completed his second Residency in Dermatology from Emory University in June 2021. He attended medical school in his native country of Ethiopia where he practiced dermatology for six years prior to moving to the United States.

Dr Kassahun Bilcha: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself in The Second Chapter of My Life

An Interview with Pirie Jones Grossman

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I was born in a rural town in northern Ethiopia to a poor, uneducated mother and an former priest father who served the Communist Party. In a community where sending children to school was considered a luxury, my parents insisted I stay educated despite their significant economic hardship. My mother had just turned 14 years old when I was born. Her first child, a daughter, died perinatally one year before. That is why she named me “Kassa” for “compensation” or “replacement.” Like many Africans, I survived through lots of adversaries as a child including war, hunger, serious illnesses, physical injuries, and abuses. Being the first-born child in a family of 10, I learned to sustain myself fast, in addition to consistently attending school. I started working as a tailor at age 14 and supported myself and the family throughout high school. My younger siblings then followed in my footsteps when I left to attended medical school.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Your limit is your mind.” What I have now (and what my children have now) and what I had when I was growing up are as different as chalk and cheese. Convince your mind you will get the cheese, and the rest will be history. Most decisions in my life tended to put me back to the same lifestyle I grew up with. I constantly must teach my mind not to slip back into poverty. I dedicate one hour every day to quiet time to think and pray. This has helped me maximize the set-point limit in my mind. I still have made lots of disastrous decisions, but I have embraced those decisions and moved forward.

You have been blessed with much success. In your opinion, what are the top three qualities that you possess that have helped you accomplish so much? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

Resilience, flexibility, and positivity. Like everybody else, I am happy when I declare success. I am also happy when I declare failure, as I know most failures have upcoming success. It was very difficult to leave my established career and practice. Despite that I was happy to have a residency spot in dermatology in the U.S., and I enjoyed working as an intern and a resident. I think I was a good culture fit for my much-younger co-residents. If I didn’t succeed at going into residency in the U.S., I would have returned to my home country to be just as happy as I am now.

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Source: Authority Magazine – Dr Kassahun Bilcha: Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself in The Second Chapter of My Life

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