Dr. Stephen Markovich was a family doctor who worked in the emergency department one night a week and volunteered as a high school sports team doctor when he was approached to help OhioHealth. The former Air Force general was happy where he was, but his sense of mission urged him to consider the request. What came after was Markovich’s boldest move.
WHAT WAS YOUR RISKIEST DECISION? They say making decisions, especially risky ones, is like having a tug of war in your brain, and sometimes in your heart. That’s how it felt when I had to decide between giving up my family practice to help a hospital run its ER better. My undergrad is in engineering. I love to fix things, but I thought it would be temporary. I was wrong. After we got the ER running smoothly, there were other projects, and 10% of my time turned into 25 and then 50. And then it was time to decide which way to go.
WHY WAS THAT MOVE RISKY? I was leaving my dream situation, something I was comfortable with, and good at, and passionate about—bedside care. I’d never operated a hospital. I didn’t know how a cath lab ran or an OR or how revenue cycle all worked. I had to learn it all. On top of that, I wasn’t sure how I would fit in with the “suits” in administration. Relationships between operators and bedside caregivers can get a little tense at times. But I told my colleagues it was about trying to make everyone’s work lives smoother and our patient experiences better, and I won their confidence. They came to see me as a guy who could bridge gaps between administration and the medical staff. I’m happy to report they still welcome me into the physicians dining room.
WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME? Happily, I discovered I made the right decision. I still round and precept occasionally. I’ve kept my boards up as well as my privileges. I was eventually promoted to COO and then president of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and, just last year, to president and CEO of OhioHealth.