Monthly Archives: December 2013

“Administration”

For the first 10 years of my career, I viewed “Administration” as a dirty word. I was committed to taking care of my patients and doing my research. I thought about administrators, or, as we called them, “suits,” mainly to blame them when something went wrong. I cringed every time I was asked to sit on a committee or attend a meeting and thought it was a waste of my time that could be better spent on more important activities. Indeed, I remember one time when I was asked to serve on a committee, I told a colleague in confidence that serving on the committee would be like “gargling dirt.”

My oh my, how times have changed. I now spend more than half my time on administration. My calendar is packed with meetings. I am on a long list of committees at our institution and beyond. I have significantly reduced my patient care efforts because administration takes up so much of my time. Most unexpectedly—I now find most of my administrative responsibilities to be enjoyable and rewarding. Continue reading

Face time beats Facetime

Advances in technology have allowed us to communicate from a distance more effectively than ever before through videoconferences, webinars, etc.  Videoconferencing software including Facetime, Skype, GoToMeeting, and many others are becoming more user-friendly. At the same time, travel to attend meetings is becoming less predictable and more expensive. I have heard talk that these changes will make actual travel to meetings obsolete, and that virtual meetings will be the way of the future. Continue reading

Forever thankful

This past week, while considering the many, many things for which I am thankful, I thought about the extraordinary experiences I have had as a cancer physician. There are so many people and stories I recall, but two in particular, which occurred while I was in my training, provided lessons that could never be found in a book. Continue reading