When I first decided to practice medicine, I knew I wanted to help patients. I was passionate about developing relationships with the individual people in my care and helping them be as healthy as they could be. Starting my career as a full-time primary care doctor allowed me to truly get to know my patients and partner with them on their health care.
As my career advanced, my leadership focus evolved. I began to seek out roles that allowed me to help a greater number of patients and physicians—first in an individual practice, then as a leader of a group of practices affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and eventually, all practices affiliated with MGH. My goal was to look for ways to improve and enhance the patient experience and ensure that the primary care we were providing was as effective as possible. Working with such a diverse group of physicians also allowed me to understand how important collaboration and teamwork are in effecting change, and in helping me appreciate and value the perspectives of those around me.
My passion for helping people is what eventually led me to my current position at MinuteClinic. I truly felt I had more to give and was drawn to the concept that retail medical clinics can provide medical care that is not only high quality, but also affordable and close to home.
After spending years in the academic-medicine community, it was a difficult decision to leave an environment that was familiar. But fear of the unknown did stop me from leaping into the corporate world. My role at MinuteClinic has allowed me to use the skills I’ve developed over the years to benefit millions of patients nationwide who seek care at our clinics, and truly change the health care landscape.
On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
Staying competitive in the health care field takes hard work, dedication, and decisiveness. Being a team player is critical, as is being able to bring people together and inspire collaboration.
On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
Throughout my career there have been several people who have motivated me in very specific ways. They’ve had certain characteristics that I’ve really identified with. For example, my 10th grade biology teacher really helped me believe in myself, which was particularly important for a girl interested in science. In the years since, I’ve come across many strong women who not only demonstrated resilience and perseverance, but have also been pleasant to be around. It’s helped me realize that women need to be professional and confident to succeed. Being upbeat goes a long way too.
Nancy’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
Find a passion. Don’t be afraid to work hard, and be willing to put in the extra effort without expecting recognition. And finally, be true to yourself. Don’t take on a persona that’s not yours just to fit in with what others expect.