For the past four months, healthcare leaders across the country have had to deal with problems they probably never thought they’d experience firsthand. Difficult decisions and conversations have occurred more frequently than ever before. While good leaders constantly seek to improve their skills to help their organizations and communities, few have likely been prepared to handle all that’s been thrown at them. Unless you’re like Renown Health CEO Dr. Tony Slonim, who early on took a big risk and as a result has enjoyed a career that pushes the limits.
WHAT WAS YOUR RISKIEST DECISION? Attempting to transfer back to the U.S. for medical school after spending two years at St. George’s University of Medicine in Grenada. I didn’t get accepted initially and then later was told I was one of eight candidates interviewing for five positions at a school. I flew back and didn’t get a spot. I called the dean of the school of medicine and said, “I am so disappointed that this is emblematic of American medicine. You get people’s hopes and dreams up. You put them on a roller coaster emotionally. You make people go through this extraordinary expense and then you say you don’t have a spot for me.”
WHY WAS THAT MOVE RISKY? I felt like I had nothing to lose. You have to take calculated risks and that first one shaped the way I lead my life in a number of different domains.