In an interview with DocThoughts, Byron Scott says physician leaders can be vital contributors to charitable organizations that lack resources to hire health care experts.
Byron Scott, MD, MBA, a member of the American Association for Physician Leadership board of directors, offers his advice to clinicians looking to get involved in nonprofit work in this interview with DocThoughts.
Scott is a board member with Direct Relief, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. He says nonprofit work helped shape his career.
“I really am very passionate about physician leadership,” Scott tells DocThoughts, which interviews thought leaders in medicine on topics not traditionally covered in a didactic curriculum.
“Physicians are great clinicians, they’re great leaders, and a lot of these nonprofit health care organizations do not have the resources to hire experts,” he tells interviewer Nirmal Gosalia. “And so, offering opinions and expertise on the things going on in health care, especially the politics of health care today … as a physician leader being very involved in health care and aware to the current issues, I can help provide value, where otherwise they may not necessarily have someone else within that organization to do that.”
Scott says such altruism can be a boon to a physician’s personal wellness. He alludes to the health care epidemic of clinician burnout, a product of not having time for the things you enjoy or simply not enjoying what you are doing.
“You’ve got to remember it’s an organization that you’re going to choose to work with that meshes with your particular beliefs and values, which can be a very rewarding thing to help sometimes augment some of the stresses or strains that go through the daily lives of being a medical student or young physician or just a practicing physician in the community.”
Scott is the deputy chief health officer with Simpler Consulting, IBM Watson Health, and a physician on staff at Northwestern Medicine’s Immediate Care Center in Illinois.
“I think providing work with various nonprofit organizations − whether it’s health care or not − can help remind us of why we are here as a physician, as a medical student, to provide help for others that have a need,” Scott says.