Meg McGrath, MD, MHCDS
I practiced Emergency Medicine for 18 years and have seen first hand how broken our system is. When I began this program, I was working as medical director in a large, safety net urban ED and realized we were battling not only Covid, but ED overcrowding, provider burn-out and severe constraints on hospital capacity. I was interested in leadership growth and wanted to move in a new direction but didn’t know where to begin!
Meg, tell us about your career in health care.
When I started my MHCDS journey, I was an emergency physician at Boston Medical Center. I am now in a brand-new position, Senior Medical Director for the Innovation Center at Medically Home. We are a Boston-based start-up health care innovation company providing acute Emergency Department care into the patient’s home by leveraging technology, visiting health care providers and telehealth visits with patients.
Why did you choose MHCDS over another type of master’s program (e.g., MBA, MPH, MMM)
I have a busy job, I work at lot and I am a mom to 2 boys. I knew I needed a program that would provide flexibility and be paced so that it was “possible” to fit into my life. I also wanted to be in a program that drew from many disciplines – I didn’t want to be in a program just for doctors, because I think the way out of the health care delivery mess we are in will require thoughtful input from nursing, finance, technology and many other disciplines. I also wanted a program with experienced mid-career people who had been in their field long enough to have a good perspective on these issues.
What has been the best part of the program for you – so far?
I really appreciate learning what I didn’t even know I didn’t know. For example, I have never studied a balance sheet in my whole career, and now I have basic health care finance understanding so I can ask intelligent questions of our finance department. Similarly, I didn’t realize there was an entire science to managing throughput and bottlenecks, I am incredibly grateful to have that background now and I use it every day. It is great to learn from my fellow students/peers and also the faculty who are world experts in their fields from Tuck and from Geisel School of Medicine. The faculty are accessible to us and flexible, eager to make sure that the courses are tailored to meet our needs, and make adjustments as we go along.
My new job came directly out of my Action Learning Project (ALP). We started working with Yale to set up a cancer care program in the home for patients. During the research and design phase of our project, I learned about Medically Home and reached out to folks there. The person I interviewed with knew about MHCDS and had respect for this program, I think it helped distinguish me from being any-other-medical director to someone who was thinking about new models of care and ready to lead. It feels great to be a part of a company that is disrupting traditional pathways for care in a safe and thoughtful way.
How have you used (or will use) the skills/knowledge you have gained so far? Do you have a real-life example?
I already am using this knowledge every day. In my job, I am managing co-innovators and adoption chain partners in home hospital care. I immediately brought back the Wide Lens book and framework I had learned in Professor Adner's class to my team at work. MHCDS had challenged me to think in new ways and ask different questions. I already understood the clinical challenges in health care delivery, but this program has given me the basics for thinking about operations, finance, population health, leadership, corporate structure, regulations/policy, so many different perspectives.
Is there anything else that you would tell a friend or colleague who was considering the MHCDS program?
I don’t think you will regret it.
Talk to others who have gone through this program, it isn’t easy but the faculty want to make sure you can find time to complete the course, it is staggered so there are breaks and time to catch up over the year, it is a really great cure for burn out and has invigorated me to dive into this new phase in my career!