In the fall of 2018, I got call from Rhonda Crowe, founder and CEO of MD Coaches. She had an idea for a podcast called Rx for Success and wondered if I’d be willing to host it. At the time, I was still the medical director of a busy wound care and hyperbaric medicine center and wondered why I even made it on her list of possibilities. She began making her case, pointing out that I had a background in radio plus a 44-year history of practicing medicine. To Rhonda, that was as easy as 2 + 2, although for me, it seemed a bit of a stretch. Fast forward 8 months later…I had retired from clinical practice and suddenly had lots of time on my hands. And just like that, Rhonda had a host for Rx for Success.
The vision for the podcast was to interview successful physicians, as well as non-physician leaders in healthcare and let them tell their own story of how they became successful in the highly complex and ever-changing world of healthcare. The format would be simple: 20 to 30 minutes of question/answer conversation, followed by the guest reading their own personal prescription for success. I began recording episodes in early summer of 2019 and on September 23, 2019, we released our first three episodes. Subsequently, we’ve continued to release a new episode every other week with only a short break during the December holiday period. The approaching anniversary of that initial release has caused me to reflect on what I’ve learned over the past 12 months.
I think the most significant discovery for me during all these conversations was more of a confirmation than a revelation. People tend to think there is a particular personality type that belongs in medicine, but these first 30 or so interviews have confirmed what I already knew. Physicians do share some basic similarities, but beyond that, each one is as unique as their own DNA. As you might expect, determination and persistence has been a common trait for all of my guests, but several of them made the decision to enter medicine as an afterthought. For example, cardiologist Dr. J. Mustapha wanted to be an engineer. Internist Dr. Rob Lamberts wanted to be a professional musician. Plastic surgeon, Dr. Lisa Gould wanted to be a spy for the CIA. Even some non-physician guests came to medicine through the “backdoor.” Healthcare executive Janet Smith Meeks wanted to be a banker like her Dad, but discovered she was a perfect fit for hospital management.
Similarly, when I ask these guests to share their personal prescription for success, the advice is always unique and rooted in powerful lessons learned along the way:
- “Not everyone shares your dream. They’re not going to have the same passion as you. So, look for those who share your passion.” – Dr. David Sabgir
- “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you and ask them questions.” – Dr. Karen Janson
- “Seek out leadership positions early on in your career and really get involved.”- Dr. Benjamin Schwartz
In reflecting on the amazing people I’ve interviewed over the past year and the profound messages they’ve shared with me, I can’t help but feel a fair amount of pride in what we’ve done. MD Coaches, parent company of Rx for Success, exists to help develop physician leaders and I think Rx for Success has been an exemplary showcase for what physician leaders look like in all of their diverse iterations. If you’re a regular listener, we look forward to bringing you more fascinating stories of success in healthcare. If you’re not yet a listener, I hope you’ll become a regular. You can download the podcast from iTunes or any popular podcast platform. You can also visit our website at rxforsuccesspodcast.com where the show notes will offer more information about our guests.
And remember to fill your personal prescription for success with my next episode!