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Medical Group Management Association

Member Network

Together we can transform healthcare.

Tap into an expansive network of professionals and diverse resources to grow your career, influence change and achieve your practice management goals.

Kari Clark, FACMPE

It is so rewarding to volunteer for an organization I believe in.

KariClark_Image_Profile.jpgVolunteer Roles: ACMPE Certification Commission, Kansas Legislative Liaison

Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?  

As a Practice Administrator, I felt that MGMA was the best organization for my personal growth and keeping up with all the current issues and new regulations.  I have been a member of MGMA for over 20 years.  However, about 10 years ago, I decided to pursue my certification and wanted to be more active in MGMA and to be a part of MGMA’s network, so I started to volunteer.  It is so rewarding to volunteer to an organization that I believe in and to be around other volunteers who have the same goals.  We all help each other.

What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?  

I have two top rewards: Being able to help and mentor others and continually learning.

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

My background is marketing, but I was always interested in health care.  Shortly after college, I got a job marketing for healthcare, and I knew immediately that healthcare was my calling.  As the marketing person, I was creative and had lots of ideas.  My boss could see that I had leadership qualities and mentored me, so within 3 years, they promoted me to Associate Administrator and a year later, Administrator.  Here I am 29 years later.

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

I have a few tips, but they are short:
-Listen, learn and be patient
-Welcome audits of your financial internal controls, in fact, insist on them
-Don’t ever be held “hostage”
-Remember, “the issue is never the issue”
-Always remember “who is the customer?” Everyone is
-Practice the Golden Rule

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

Hands down, the MGMA website, webinars and weekly newsletter.  My second favorite is from our attorney firm for State updates.

How do you relax after a busy work week?   

See my grandkids!  There is nothing better than grandkids!

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

This is a tough one because our jobs are very demanding. However, the best way that I know is to balance your workload. When the day is over if you wish to work extra to catch up, it is okay to do this occasionally. I have learned that no matter how late you stay or how early you get there in the morning, the work is always there. The key is “occasionally.” If you are working too much, it will catch up with you. You learn to prioritize and surround yourself with excellent support staff.  If you don’t balance your career with your home/family life, you will not be as happy, so it is important that you find that happy middle.  

Remember that physicians don’t understand the surmountable work that you do, but they do appreciate you in their own way. You take control of your own schedule, but keep in mind that there will be days that you have to work extra. Healthcare is such a busy, demanding and rewarding profession.  I can’t imagine any other career!
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