When I arrived with my husband Dave and daughter Claire in Orlando in June of 2013, I was suppressing my anxiety and awareness that I didn’t have a manual called “How to Be a Division Chief” at a free-standing children’s hospital.
Explore this issue:January 2019
I joined the largest pediatric health system without much knowledge or understanding of the realities of healthcare access in the fourth most populous state and perhaps the one with the most underserved children and families for decades. As I reflect on the past five and a half years, I am in awe at what my incredible team and I have been able to achieve, and at the level of care delivered despite all of the challenges we have faced internally and externally. Since September of 2016, I have also assumed the role of surgeon-in-chief for our hospital. Writing my own job description and vision for what I believed necessary and what a physician leader in this role should and could accomplish was daunting and surreal.
As I have lived and breathed challenges from both leadership roles, I am even more grateful I have been grounded only by my clinic and OR days, like all my front-line colleagues. The countless issues, big or small, simple or complex, made it necessary and, frankly, self-preserving, to gain a new perspective as a physician on both “leadership” and “engagement.” I must give credit to Kari Granger, my external coach for this past year (an investment in me from my organization), for helping me discover my new perspective and self-awareness. I want to share some key points about leadership and engagement because, it turns out, both directly influence physician well-being and the degree of burnout experienced by physicians.