What motivated/inspired you to study for an MBA?
While a medical degree is an extremely demanding and valuable qualification to obtain, it is only focussed on healthcare and offers almost no business-related training.
Despite having worked for very large and professional multinational companies that offered superb on-the-job training opportunities, I still felt that I needed to know more about the theory of business and wanted to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. This, combined with the aspirational qualities of an MBA, inspired me to take the plunge and attempt an MBA.
Tell us about your early career – you have extensive experience in the broader healthcare environment?
I qualified as a Doctor in 1995 at the University of Pretoria, and after three years as a general practitioner decided to pursue a career on the business side of the healthcare industry. I spent six years with a pharmaceutical company where I held numerous managerial positions that even included a transfer to Switzerland. I left there to start my own medical device company, which I sold to return to corporate healthcare at a managed healthcare company. After this followed three years working for General Electric as their senior account manager for sub-Saharan Africa. Then I took a sabbatical in late 2009 to complete my MBA dissertation and thereafter felt the calling to return to private medical practice, inspired by the plight of my colleagues in private practice. Obtaining my MBA resulted directly in my appointment at the South African Medical
Association (SAMA) in January 2011, as the Head of SAMA’s
Private Practice Unit.
What does your position as Head of the Private Practice Unit entail? The South African Medical Association (SAMA) is a representative organisation for doctors. It has 17 000 members and consists of two departments, namely the
Public Sector Unit which is a union for government employed doctors; and the Private Practice Unit that concerns itself with fighting for the rights of doctors in private medical practice. As the head of the Private Practice Unit I am tasked with improving the practice conditions of our members in the highly competitive private healthcare industry in South Africa.
Due to big business entering the healthcare business, doctors have been marginalized and it is my team’s function to reestablish the doctors’ position at the apex of the healthcare pyramid. In order to achieve this my department designs
And what difference does it make to you, personally and professionally, to have achieved the MBA?
Having achieved my MBA was one of the proudest moments of my life,…