Interview with Dr. Kit McCalla

My name is Kit McCalla, I am a Osteopathic Physician and my job title is Orthopedic Surgeon. I also sit on several policy boards including the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association Board of Trustees.

Do you have a current leadership position in your organization?  Board Member on the Board of Trustees for AOMA.

How big of an organization are you a part of?  It’s a service membership organization in the State of Arizona and it’s membership is about 900 members.

What have been some of the steps or the positions you have had over the course of time leading you where you are today?  Mostly it is just getting involved.  The biggest thing early on seemed to be you raised your hand at a few committee meetings and the next thing you know you’re sitting on committees. If it’s your passion about what you do then it kind of goes easy from there. You just get involved in the development process for topics you have interest, the purposes and the mission of the organization you represent.

What do physicians bring to the table as unique skills or attributes as leaders as opposed to some one who isn’t a physician?  Well, it’s definitely a perspective and what is unique about being a physician in a lot of leadership roles, whether it’s public policy or just sitting on a school board.  You really get the perspective of being on the side of the patient. You have a wonderful opportunity of years of education in studying people, the behaviors of people and how that plays into either different roles in government or society.

What percent of your time do you spend with leadership versus seeing patients?  I am in private practice so I spend a ton of time in private practice and I try to do leadership nights and weekends and short episodes outside of practice. Essentially I am about 60-70% private practice work on my business and then the rest of the time is leadership.

What type of training experiences have you had to prepare yourself as a leader?  Well, actually by getting involved.   I was noticed by other leadership people in the healthcare industry.  I actually volunteered once (or twice) and the next thing I know I was nominated to participate in a national health care leadership program called the HPF Health Policy Fellowship in 2005-2006.   The Fellowship program is a year-long graduate educational program is designed for individuals who are preparing for leadership roles in the osteopathic profession and positions of influence in health policy.  The program is through New York Institute of Technology and Ohio University and is modeled after an abbreviated version similar to the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship.

You are currently enrolled in the Physician Executive MBA program at the University of Tennessee.  What need is the program fulfilling in your training?   Well, from a practice standpoint or a professional standpoint there is an extreme frustration with the lack of knowledge from business in terms on how to create structure and run a business successfully.  It’s easy to run a business in terms of providing health care services to people/patients, but I have found it’s hard to keep the doors open and the light bills paid.   I am hoping by becoming involved in the MBA program I will be able to develop a viable medical practice which can continue to deliver the highest quality of care at value prices to the consumer.  Beyond that, from a leadership standpoint, I feel compelled to try and help more people in a more meaningful way, as a leader in health care policy or in terms of health care reform than as just a “provider” one patient at a time in medical practice.

That seems to be a common statement I hear from physician leaders, rather than a patient at a time they are improving the health and wellbeing of groups of patients. 

What advice would you give to clinicians who are considering being involved in leadership positions?  First of all, I think the physicians are going to either consider getting involved or not. In my opinion, you are either going to be angry, frustrated, and bitter (and complain a lot) or you are going to be frustrated and motivated to get involved.  Those will get engaged and try to make a difference.

In my observation, Mike Stahl, PhD, Director of the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program, engaged this “frustration” interacting with prospective physician MBA leaders at a physician convention last year, and he quickly identified how some physicians like us were in the latter division.

It was an interesting observation of human (physician) behavior, just the topic of healthcare and the problems in healthcare really stimulate a lot of emotion from physicians across the board.   There are some that seem to just be bitter, angry and in various stages of shutting down, whether it be their practice or their engagement with health care in general.  Others seem to be stimulated by the dialogue, the debate, and how they may try to participate in making a positive difference to populations of patients.

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One Response to “Interview with Dr. Kit McCalla”

  1. สัมภาษณ์ BE Says:

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