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Carl Whittenburg, MHA, FACMPE, FACHE

Volunteer Roles: ACMPE Examinations Committee Member, ACMPE Professional Papers Committee Member

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?

  • I first became involved in MGMA as a new practice manager in 2000 as a way to learn about my new role. As I've become more experienced, I wanted to give back to the larger healthcare leadership field.  

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?

  • MGMA has offered me the opportunity to both give back to the healthcare field but has also afforded me the chance to continue learning and growing through my interactions with other leaders in the field. This dual benefit is the more rewarding part of volunteering with MGMA. 

How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?

  • My wife of over 22 years is a physician. I have seen how important strong operational leadership is to the success of any physician practice. Through over 15 years of progressively more challenging roles, I have most enjoyed the ability to remove administrative barriers between the medical providers and their patients. I try very hard to make the practice of medicine as easy for the providers and staff as is possible in an increasingly complex healthcare environment.

What is your favorite book, website or resource for practice managers?

  • I recommend MGMA Connection magazine for everyone. I also recommend reading articles and journals that relate leadership development. I subscribe to the Harvard Business Review which gives me regular access to articles focused on leadership. I am also actively engaged with LinkedIn and follow several writers who focus on leadership.

What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?

  • I always tell people new to the field that their number one priority is to do what is best for the patient. Sometimes, that will mean your providers might be unhappy with you in the short run. But, focusing on the patient first will improve your chances of a successful practice and happy staff and providers.

How do you relax after a busy week?

  • For the last several years I have had a 45- to 60-minute commute. As a result, I listen to a lot of audio books unrelated to healthcare. I also read when I can but currently my weekends are consumed with my three daughters and supporting their various activities.  

What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?

  • My primary focus to maintain balance is to leave work at work. I try to finish what I need to before going home, even if that means staying a little later. In doing so, I can then give my undivided attention to my family when I get home. I am not always successful in this separation but the effort pays off more often than it fails.

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