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Career Story: Executive Vice President & CEO Of A Medical Specialty Society

Executive Vice President & CEO Of A Medical Specialty Society

Job Title: Executive Vice President & CEO Of A Medical Specialty Society

Type of Company: A medical society made up of pulmonary, critical care and sleep specialists. The mission of our 17,000 members worldwide is to improve patient care through education.

Education: BS, Architectural Science, Washington University •• BA, Architecture, Washington University •• MA, Applied Psychology, University of Southern Missouri

Previous Experience: I was an architect specializing in hospitals and a developer of hospitals in Latin American.

Job Tasks: My job is to work with the society's leadership to develop and implement a strategic plan of action and to represent the society at conventions and board meetings.

My year has three board meetings, twelve Executive Committee meetings and many other committee meetings scattered throughout it, as well as an annual conference with over 5,000 attendees and three Board exam preparation courses for 400 to 500 attendees each. I am also the publisher of the society's journal which has an English-language circulation of 23,000 and another 35,000 in foreign translations and is published online as well as on paper. One of the most interesting areas of our education program is our Simulation Center where we train physicians in difficult procedures on robotic mannequins.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my work is the awareness I bring to it that what we do helps improve patient care and brings peace to the world one patient at a time. But another enjoyable aspect is collaborating with our sister societies to respond to national issues in health care.

The worst part of it is all the regulation and red tape. But the situation is aggravated by the turn-over in top personnel; every year, for example, we get a new president.

Job Tips: Much of today's education is based on problem solving. There's nothing wrong with that but it is also essential to be a strategic thinker, to see the bigger picture. Take every opportunity to learn things outside your area of interest and challenge yourself to see how those things relate to your specialty. Learn to be a good listener and see the various sides to issues.

Additional Thoughts: One of my most important qualities is my ability to recognize someone's talent and to be able to mentor them to use it effectively.

One thing that surprises others about my job is that I have the opportunity to travel all over the world helping train healthcare professionals.

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