Volunteer Roles: Two Terms on the Publications Advisory Committee
Why did you decide to get involved with MGMA?
I first joined MGMA about a million years ago, so really don’t remember how I learned about it! I immediately became a huge fan, probably partially out of sheer laziness, as I quickly learned that MGMA was filled with bright, highly educated professionals offering expertise in all areas of practice management. I have yet to pose a question that can’t be answered by any number of members. The MGMA staff has been of immense benefit to me, including helping me through the maze of a number of legal issues over the years.
What do you find most rewarding about volunteering for MGMA?
Learning, learning, learning! By reviewing articles for publication, I am presented with numerous new ideas and varied perspectives. My second response would be the rewards received from “giving back”. I was raised in a family with strong values and told that a full life is a mix that should include helping others. Lastly, I have been rewarded with a large network of friends who are always available when needed.
How did you decide that practice management was the career for you?
I began my career in the corporate world, holding executive positions with three major national healthcare companies – a managed care organization, a home infusion firm, and a consulting firm. About fifteen years ago, I realized that I was involved in too many different arenas and made the decision to focus on physician practices. I have primarily worked as a consultant, but have served as an interim administrator for several large practices – one for as long as five years. My thirst for learning and growing is quenched by traveling the country and practicing problem-solving in all sorts of situations.
What is the best tip you give to people who are just starting a career in practice management?
Establish credibility with your staff by learning the three answers to their questions: 1) the actual answer if you know it; 2) “I don’t know, but I will find out for you”; and 3) “I am sorry, but I am not able to divulge that information”. I find new managers frequently feel they should have an answer for everything. WRONG! You’ll gain respect by being honest with your staff. Secondly, seek out at least two mentors, one being an experienced and successful practice manager, the other a successful business person in another industry who can share lessons that transcend one industry.
What is your favorite book or website or resource for practice managers?
I’ll start with the obvious, MGMA and all its resources. My favorite is the ListServ, which I’m on every day to assist others when I can and to continue to learn. The responses are invaluable. I am also a student of military history and have learned an enormous amount about strategy from that field.
How do you relax after a busy work week?
I love to travel, with France my most frequent destination these days - there’s a special pull to a four-year-old-princess (granddaughter)! Hanging out with family and friends, movies, reading extensively, and University of Texas football games!
What is your top tip for maintaining work/life balance?
One of my favorite topics. Doing something I love and calling it “work” is great, but I learned ages ago that workaholics are proud of themselves for the wrong reason. Plenty of stats are available to remind us that we are most productive (at work or play) when we give an appropriate amount of time to our tasks. The more you add on, the less productive you are. Teach this to your staff! To my clients, I preach mindfulness, meditation, and other ways of feeding the soul.