With the exception of the Royal Family, most individuals aren’t born into a particular occupation. Instead, it’s an often long and winding road that leads us to our current roles. At healthsystemCIO, we’ve often wondered, what occupation might some healthcare IT and digital leaders chosen under different circumstances?
Below, please see the very thoughtful responses to the question:
If you had never gotten into healthcare, what do you think your occupation would be?
Tracy Elmer, Chief Innovation Officer, TrueCare
I love this question as it makes me think back to my younger days and those early thoughts and dreams of being all we can be. For me, and I recognize this is quite specific, I really think I would be a flight attendant. I have always loved traveling and genuinely enjoy helping others. Putting those two joys together equals a great long term career opportunity. As I look back to that dream role, I realize so many of the strengths or skills that serve me today in my role as CIO would have been equally supportive in that kind of position. Commitment to service, high emphasis on communication, and a relentless desire to do all I can to enhance the experience while making things easier for others thru work smarter solutions/workflow.
Terri Couts, SVP & Chief Digital Officer, The Guthrie Clinic
I tried a different career before turning to health care. I got my degree in education and taught at a local school for two years. Growing up, however, I always thought I would be a doctor. I changed direction to teaching shortly after starting college. I love the thought of shaping minds. But after some time, I felt I had a larger purpose and went back to school for nursing. Looking back now, I can see how I use both of my trainings to serve in my current role. A large part of what I do is educating what is possible through technology enabled care.
Chuck Christian, CTO & VP of Technology, Franciscan Health
Early, I wanted to be an artist and actually had interviews with an art institute. However, we had some family friends who were commercial artists (and very good at their craft), and recommended that I not try a professional career in art. They pointed out that most art is only worth something after the artist is gone and can’t create more. I also was headed to medical school at one time, but my family pointed me in another direction.
Saad Chaudhry, Chief Digital & Information Officer, Luminis Health
Healthcare was always in the cards for me. I can’t imagine being in any other industry. My grandfather, both my parents, and my aunts and uncles are all physicians. Even my siblings and cousins have either gone into medicine or ended up in healthcare somehow. So, I’ve quite literally grown up in it; I went to daycare in hospitals, spent my after-school hours in my dad’s clinic doing homework, volunteered over the weekends at community hospitals. I even fell in love with computers due to healthcare; it was the IBM-286 PC that my dad got for his clinic that exposed me to computing, and I haven’t looked back.
Gretchen Britt, VP, Information Technology, Liberty Hospital
While growing up I was sure I would end up on Saturday Night Live as a comedian, but I probably would have been a teacher. I love to teach and believe that education is the foundation to anything that we do.
Zafar Chaudry, SVP and Chief Digital & Information Officer, Seattle Children’s
I would have joined the British Navy and would have become an engineer.