What do you enjoy most about the medical staff at UF Health Shands?
ML: Over the years, I have felt very confident and comfortable in the clinical acumen and the knowledge of my colleagues. As a physician, you really want to trust the colleagues with whom you are consulting and handing off care. I really see them as resources of information. For me, I want to work with colleagues who are approachable and wanting to share their expertise. I’ve really appreciated that here.
IA: We work as a team to ensure our patients and their families have the best care possible. We know our partnership will result in excellent care!
What’s beneficial about being a doctor with a leadership role?
ML: As the quality officer, I am able to identify where there are opportunities for solutions because I am encountering said issue. I think working clinically helps you be acutely impacted by whatever might need to be fixed. For most doctors, we need patient interaction because it is why we went into medicine; it brings joy and happiness at work.
What do you value most about physicians?
IA: The physicians are focused on providing excellent care, like I am. I value their ideas and contributions to operations and clinical care.
Did you ever think you would have a role as a quality officer in a hospital?
ML: No. During the first half of my career,
I did pediatric advocacy, which has a lot of the same skill set needed for quality and safety. I think it was a natural fit for my personality. I also really like connecting with people and part of my job is doing just that. I don’t necessarily need to try and fix every problem, just bring people together who can.
If you weren’t a doctor, what would you be doing now?
ML: I would either be a track coach or a florist. I worked in a floral shop and as a track coach in between undergrad and medical school. I helped coach girls’ distance runners at Buchholz High School here in Gainesville. I love flowers and designing — it is one of my creative outlets.
Why did you pursue a career in the medical profession?
ML: I always knew I wanted to go into pediatrics. I loved the NICU. Being with families during those really critical times when a child is in the hospital is incredibly humbling and special.
IA: I went into nursing to contribute, not just to help individuals, but to care for people as a whole. This profession struck me as one where you could make a difference.
Why is it important to celebrate Doctors’ Day?
ML: I think it’s important to celebrate everybody. At the end of the day, even if you love what you’re doing, it’s still nice to feel valued and appreciated — to have a day where people say, “We see you.
We’re thankful for you.” That’s motivating and encouraging.
IA: We need to take the time to recognize the things our doctors do on a daily basis. Their dedication to our patients, the hospital and their profession make UF Health a great place to work. It’s important to say, “Thank you” for all the doctors do!
What would you tell young medical students are the most important characteristics for a doctor to have?
ML: Listen. Listen to the patient. Listen to the nurses, the RTs, the social workers … the team. Listen.
IA: A sense of humor, humility, patience, compassion and respect for others.