Luanda Medical Center CEO Dr. Michael Averbukh on healthcare in emerging markets, choosing wisely and making patients loyal clients

In this special Speaker Series, Becker's Healthcare caught up with Michael Averbukh, MD, CEO of Luanda (Angola) Medical Center.  

Dr. Averbukh will speak on a panel at Becker's Hospital Review 7th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable titled "The CEO Paradox: Can You Really Have Volume and Value?" at 12 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12. Learn more about the event and register to attend in Chicago.

Question: What keeps you excited and motivated to come to work each day? 

Dr. Michael Averbukh: For the last seven years I have managed healthcare facilities in countries that are part of the "emerging markets." In this unique business atmosphere, every day is your first day in school. The need for dynamic decision making, rapidly adapting to cultural and consumer needs is a real roller coaster. And yet — when you are doing the right thing, and see the results, there is nothing more rewarding!

Q: If you could pass along one piece of advice to another hospital executive, what would it be? 

MA: It's all about people! Choose very wisely the team that would make your hospital strive for excellence. Pick those that would bring their hearts to work, strongly believing in the values of the institution and turning those values into reality on a daily basis.

Q: What is one of the most interesting healthcare industry changes you've observed in recent years?

MA: I believe healthcare organizations, executives, and to a certain extent, workers understand that the patient is not only a patient in an urgent need for "salvation" but a client. The physician is no longer the savior, but a very professional service provider. Provision of satisfactory, proven, gold standard treatment is a must today — nothing less than that is expected. Hence, if you want to be outstanding, treat your patient as a client. Be passionate to provide your client with an experience, with a feeling he is important to you, be transparent and open for explanations, questions. You will surely gain a loyal client! 

Q: What is one piece of professional advice you would give to your younger self?

MA: Listen! My younger self was always eager for action, "saving time" on what appeared to be nonrelevant or not straight to the point. I learned it is very seldom that you have nothing to take from a meeting or a conversation.

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