Interview

Journal of Healthcare Management, July/August 2015 | Go to article overview

Interview


Dr. Garner: I don't consider challenges as challenges; I consider them opportunities. And I would say one of the main opportunities for early careerists and new graduates is to make themselves a valuable commodity to their organization. I encourage students in graduate school and administrative fellows to take a multifaceted approach.

First, they should strive to attain a broad working knowledge of hospital operations. They should be expansive in their views and try to absorb as much as possible from all domains of hospital operations. A good hospital leader-CEO, COO, or CNO-has a broad working knowledge of the operations that make a hospital function. Early careerists should take the initiative to expose themselves to all aspects of the organization. Then, they should find an operational domain in which they can become subject matter experts and contribute value to the organization. Often, when hiring decisions are made for leadership positions, the hiring manager evaluates the applicant's ability to add value. Does the résumé reflect the candidate's contributions to previous organizations? Does it reveal assets that the candidate can bring to the new organization? A graduate internship or fellowship is a prime opportunity to attain a broad portfolio of experiences, after which the early careerist can delve into an area and establish a niche. Ultimately, top performers are those who can demonstrate impact and value to an organization.

Assertiveness is another component on which early careerists should focus. CEOs look for leaders who are adept at being "intrapreneurs." A good intrapreneur is someone who can optimize internal processes, effectively and efficiently manage internal systems, enhance internal quality, and have an impact on revenue growth in an organization. An early careerist who can come into an organization and make an impact as an intrapreneur will certainly catch the eye of the CEO. He or she will be strongly considered for growth opportunities, either within that organization or at another organization.

I think it is important for students to share their successes, and I always encourage early careerists to quantify their results. Be able to speak to and quantify what you have accomplished in an organization. A good résumé reflects one's impact on operational metrics and volume, which we constantly measure in healthcare. …

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