Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Former Chief Diversity Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges
If you could change one thing about healthcare what would it be?
I would change the fact that healthcare outcomes are more often determined by your ZIP code than by your genetic code. It’s the 21st century, and we still have striking disparities in clinical outcomes based on socioeconomic factors. It’s time to stop talking about healthcare equity and start seeing real action toward a more egalitarian system.
What is the most important quality for doctors to have?
The best doctors are those who take the time to remember that patients are not collections of statistics and symptoms. They are not revenue sources or line items on a budget. They are vulnerable human beings who need to be treated as such.
What is the first item on your bucket list?
My career goal coming out of my undergraduate work was to be a middle school math teacher. Life events and responsibilities took me in a different direction, but I never lost the underlying desire to teach kids: something my teenage son knows all too well. If given the opportunity, I’d like to spend a year in a public school, teaching basic math skills and mentoring kids who might need someone like me looking out for them.
What is your most annoying habit?
I tend to ask “why” more than anyone cares to answer. I’m genuinely curious about the thought process behind an action and the ways in which people reason through things. So even in casual conversation, I tend to ask, “Why did that happen?” or, “Why did that person say that?” until my friends tell me to just let it go.