When he joined GMC: March 10, 2008
Current role: Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
What he does: My role spans the following:
Why GMC? After serving as a practicing pulmonary and critical care physician in Connecticut, I began to do administrative work. I served as VP of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at two Connecticut hospitals, before I decided to take on my current role at GMC.
I saw the position at GMC as an opportunity to take on a leadership role at a larger, more complex organization. That, combined with a competitive landscape and a fast-growing community, represented a compelling challenge. And of course, the geography was a chance to live in the Atlanta area and enjoy not having to deal with as much snow, ice and frigid weather.
Getting started in healthcare: In high school, I started thinking about working in healthcare. I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and majored in Zoology. By the end of college, I had a pretty good idea I was heading to medical school.
I received my MD degree from The Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and began an internal medicine residency also in NYC. I then went into the public health service and was stationed at a small primary care practice for two years in Eastern Oregon (right on the Oregon-Idaho border).
After that, I finished my residency at UMASS in Worcester and did my pulmonary fellowship at a Yale program at Norwalk Hospital. I served in a private practice in Torrington, CT – practicing full time until 1995, when I took on an administrative role.
What he likes best at GMC: I really like the people in the organization and the fact that it is one of the warmer, more collaborative places that I have worked. I also enjoy the diversity of the community and the GMC associates who hail from every background and from all over the globe.
When he’s not working: I do a lot of photography and postprocessing of images. I’d consider myself a very advanced amateur at taking photos and using image editing software. I have dabbled in some fine art aspects of this.
I’ve taken courses in matting and framing and invested in some of the equipment, although I don’t always do all the work myself. I love cutting the mats, but will often let other people take it from there. I like to combine my love of the outdoors, state and national parks, hiking, and birding with my interests in photography.
I try to exercise every day. I do a lot of indoor cycling, since the traffic and the roads in our area make road cycling somewhat difficult.
First jobs: I was a paper boy in high school. I was also an usher at a movie theater. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that being an usher is an easy job – watching the same movie 25 times is not easy, especially when kids are throwing popcorn at you! In college, I worked in a machine shop during summers to make some extra money.
Family life: I’m married with two grown kids. My older daughter is a veterinarian specializing in veterinary dentistry and she is currently working on her certification in this area. My younger daughter just finished an international MBA from Georgia State and the University of Paris. She also has a master's in teaching and taught French for two years at Collins Hill High School, but has chosen to seek other career opportunities with her MBA.
Lessons learned: You can work with people all the time, but that doesn’t necessarily give you the people management skills that you will need in a leadership role. While those skills can be developed over time, education and the right mentor can be invaluable tools in making the transition and fine-tuning those skills.
I earned a masters degree at Tulane through a combination of travel and online learning back in the 1990s – and these days there are many more opportunities to accomplish this. It is a great deal of work and time, but highly worthwhile for physicians who want to pursue a career in management.
Advice to aspiring physician leaders: Build your clinical experience and get involved in committee work as a starting point. Also, don’t overlook the importance of management training. Formal management training can range from attendance at conferences to completion of an MBA or similar degree program. It’s a big commitment, but you’ll acquire critical skills, knowledge and insights that no one taught you in medical school.