Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with Umesh Gidwani, Chief of Cardiac Critical Care for Mount Sinai Medical Center

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Umesh Gidwani, MD, FCCP, FCCM, FACC, serves as Chief of Cardiac Critcal Care for Mount Sinai Medical Center.

On April 1st, Dr. Gidwani will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Dr. Gidwani's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

Umesh Gidwani: By and large, hospital and health system leaders - conditioned by a plethora of regulatory, legal and the ever-changing business pressures - are a cautious lot. On the negative side, they can be quite risk averse (stifles innovation); on the positive side, by definition they lead ‘learning organizations’ (where people have the time and space to expand their abilities). Those that can manage this ‘creative tension’ well are usually very successful.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

UG: Healthcare delivery has many attributes that are inherently antithetical to rapid innovation. Practitioners are conditioned to spending many years attaining ‘hard skill’ mastery (e.g. Perfection in total hip replacement procedures) while innovating requires ‘soft skill’ mastery e.g. ability to raise money quickly and translate ideas into action). We are conditioned to adhere to norms and processes while innovators are quite the opposite – an ability to push the boundaries and do what is necessary to achieve a goal, inventing processes on the way. There and may other skill sets are quiet contrary to each other. However, the way to address this inherent conflict is to have small, agile nimble teams within core areas that are functionally structured, allowing for ‘safe spaces’ within this rigid organization. This allows for another important function – the need to continue the mainstream business of delivering exemplary healthcare while seeking innovations to start new businesses.

Q: Can you share some praise with us about people you work with? What does greatness look like to you when it comes to your team?

UG: To me there is no greatness without humility. Humility is the value that makes it easier for others to listen to us and hopefully, emulate us. It promotes communication and trust – both items critical to effective team building. I can’t praise our team members enough for always practicing skillful communication with warmth and humility.

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