Passion for Profession: From Scrubs to Suit

Posted on August 20, 2018

Gary RothI am often asked two questions: “What do you do now that you’re not a doctor anymore?” and “Why would you leave a successful practice at the pinnacle of your career to go to the dark side?”

I will admit, I have asked my colleagues those same questions when they assumed professional positions were more administrative than clinical.

Well, the shoe is officially on the other foot. I am classified as a full-time “suit.” However, I feel as if I am making a more profound difference in my role as the chief medical officer (CMO) at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA).

As a cardiac surgeon, I was given the privilege of caring for people during one of their times of greatest need and most extreme vulnerability. It was very rewarding to know I made a difference in a person’s life, one patient at a time. The returns were personally satisfying and professionally rewarding.

As the CMO for the MHA, I am now able to help make a difference in hundreds, if not thousands, of lives at a time.

The greatest opportunity I currently have is to partner with more than 100 MHA associates who have a common passion of working together to improve healthcare culture, make healthcare delivery safer and highly reliable, and ensure access to affordable coverage and care for all.

Every initiative, collaborative, simulation, workshop and other event is a chance to share best practices and what the MHA has learned. Our hope is that this will, in turn, spread the knowledge to the bedside of patient care.

We have witnessed several Michigan hospitals embark on a high-reliability journey, from striving toward benchmarks of harm reduction to now focusing on the goal of zero preventable harm.

This mindset infuses all the work the MHA Keystone Center performs daily and is visible in activities of the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO), the progression of person- and family-engagement (PFE) and the sharing of sepsis expertise statewide. However, the greatest opportunity is to be the agent of change of hospitalwide culture.

Healthcare workers bring their passion to their work, hospitals foster that passion, the MHA engages the passion, and the cycle continues to improve patient safety and healthcare quality.

Gary Roth, DO, MBA, FACOS, FCCM, FACS, is Chief Medical Officer of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. This article originally appeared in the Michigan Osteopathic Association's TRIAD Summer 2018.


  • Passion for Profession: From Scrubs to Suit

Tags: mha rounds, Gary Roth

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