Rice MBA for Executives Class of 2013
I received my medical degree at Duke University and then completed my internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Duke. Then, I was asked to stay as Chief Resident in Pediatrics for a year, which is an administrative, educational, and clinical role where you manage 66 residents and supervise resident care of patients. This was during a significant change in graduate medical education when the 80 hour work week rules were started, so I was able to shape a lot of the implementation at the institutional level. I then returned to Houston to pursue a fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology at Baylor College of Medicine and UT MD Anderson. Four board certifications later, I began my career at MD Anderson. I spend about 60% of my time seeing patients in the clinic or in the hospital. I focus on caring for adults and children with endocrine tumors or endocrine diseases as a result of their other tumors. The remainder of my time is spent focused on quality improvement initiatives in my own department and across the institution. I serve on various committees that focus on measuring and improving the quality of care we provide and improving the customer experience for patients and referring physicians.
Throughout my training, I knew that I wanted to have an impact on healthcare delivery at the system level, not just to the individual patient that entrusted me with their care. In order to eventually take on such a position, I felt a responsibility to ensure I had the appropriate skill set to be a leader in the healthcare industry. It is an unusual career path for a physician in academic medicine, so I had to create a path for myself and not be shy seeking out mentors. I was fortunate to have the support of not only my mentors and supervisors, but also my colleagues in pursuing an MBA.
As I look back on my Rice MBA for Executives experience, the best part of my journey has been the time spent with my fellow classmates. I have made some lifelong friends and connections across so many industries. I have learned a lot about myself as a team member, leader, and have had the privilege to work on teams with some very smart, dedicated folks. And, I finally can have an educated conversation about the financial markets and the energy sector.
My one piece of advice to prospective students? Get organized! As my kids will tell you, I have four jobs – Mom, wife, doctor, and medical administrator, so adding a fifth job of EMBA student required upfront planning and support in all my other jobs. I felt no guilt in outsourcing tasks, while at the same time making sure I was present for events important to my family. I had discussions with my personal and professional “bosses” well ahead of time that this was what I wanted to do and why I wanted it, and thus had their 100% support. Many people negotiate for financial support for the Executive MBA, but negotiating for time was my priority. There is so much you can learn during those two years if you give yourself the time to do it.