Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Michael Goldberg, the executive director of Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center. He oversees the daily operations of the hospital to deliver the best care possible to their patients. Prior to him becoming the executive director, he was LIJ’s finance lead and has worked in financial and administrative roles since 2009.
Today Dr. Erkeda chats with Michael about how he found himself in healthcare, what it’s like to lead a hospital and the challenges he faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- [02:03] Why Work in Healthcare?
- [07:08] The Hardest Part of Managing a Hospital
- [08:32] Leading a Hospital During a Pandemic
- [14:13] What Michael Would Change about Healthcare
- [16:40] The Business of Medicine and Entrepreneurial Skills
- [21:42] Michael’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Students
Why Work in Healthcare?
Michael was a business major poised to take over his family’s business. Unfortunately, the business didn’t do very well so he had to look for other opportunities. After his stint in the finance industry, his search led him to work at a health organization. It was here that he found his calling to work in healthcare. Michael found it rewarding to be able to help people, even if he wasn’t a clinician. The people he worked with were so passionate about medicine. As he worked in healthcare, he eventually transitioned from finance into operational positions.
Managing a hospital during COVID-19
The executive director is responsible for the patients, employees, clinicians and the day-to-day operations of a hospital. It’s already a challenging role in and of itself, but the pandemic made it even tougher.
Michael recalls that the hardest part was at the start of the pandemic, when nobody knew how to deal with the coronavirus. With so much uncertainty, he and the team made the early decision to implement the wearing of masks and PPEs. This decision paid off, limiting the amount of infection within the staff. The hospital has learned a lot since then. Until now, Michael is continually amazed at the frontliners’ heart to serve.
Can business and entrepreneurial skills help physicians?
Physicians have great ideas on how to improve healthcare but are seldom able to express them. Basic business skills teach doctors how to create plans and articulate their ideas clearly. Entrepreneurship can also be used in other areas of life, not just in business or medicine.