For Malaina Turner, getting her MAS in the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations provided an almost immediate boost to her career. After completing the program, she went from Supervisor to Manager to Director in less than two years. “I wanted to find a program that would set me apart and make me unique from other applicants. I found the LHCO program. It was exactly what I was looking for, not only in preparing me for the medical field, but preparing me to be a leader in my future career.” Her words of wisdom for those considering the program: “There is a huge difference between a boss and a leader. This program teaches you the equivalent skills you would learn from an MBA, but it couples those skills with attributes required to become a great leader.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
“I started working in the medical field right out of high school, filing charts in the office of a family friend, and have been in the field ever since. I received my Bachelors in Physiology and Neuroscience from UC San Diego in 2011 and completed my Master’s degree in Leadership of Healthcare Organizations in 2015.
I enjoy running in me free time, both as a stress reliever and to keep fit. This year, I completed my second half marathon and have two more coming up next year. I was born and raised in Aberdeen, Scotland. I love traveling and exploring other cities and cultures. I go back to visit my extended family at least every other year.”
Why did you decide to study at UC San Diego?
“I did my undergrad at UC San Diego, so already knew it was a great campus and provided a great education. Plus, I wanted to continue to work full time while completing my degree, so I wanted something close to home without having to do an online program.”
What stands out about the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations Master in Advanced Studies program for you?
“When I first applied to the program, I was pre-med and I wanted something to set me apart from other applicants, besides the typical Biology Master’s degree. However, I also knew, no matter what career I chose, I wanted to be a leader in that profession. Therefore, the Leadership of Healthcare Organizations program perfectly married my two goals together; healthcare and leadership.
Once I started classes, I soon realized that a unique aspect of the program was the ability to network with students and professionals from all areas of the medical field. This only heightened my learning experience and created relationships and a network outside the classroom. I also appreciated that most classes were taught by accomplished professionals, able to connect the content directly to real life jobs.”
What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in taking the LHCO program?
“Ensure you have the time to commit to doing well in the program, especially if you are working simultaneously. Take the classes at your own speed; dedicate the time to doing well, not rushing to finish. The Leadership of Healthcare Organizations program is applicable to almost every aspect of the healthcare field. Everyone will find something in this program that will benefit you in your career.”
What do you personally find exciting, interesting, important or surprising about the field you work in?
“Patient access. While some may think it’s easy or inconsequential, it’s a very important aspect of the hospital team. We are the face of the hospital, usually the first person and last person a patient interacts with at a hospital or doctor’s appointment.
We also help to drive the financial well-being of the hospital; verifying insurance and obtaining authorization, without which the hospital would not be reimbursed for services. Although we are not involved in direct patient care, we are involved in their financial health, which can be equally as important in some aspects. And, as with all aspects of healthcare, you never know what is going to walk through those doors on a daily basis, so we are always kept on our toes!”
Are there any “tricks of the trade” that aspiring healthcare leaders should know?
“Network. All parts of healthcare are joined and rarely will one part work without the other. You never know when you might need the help of someone outside your department, so network with other leaders and create those relationships before they become a necessity.”
How has your experience at UC San Diego helped your career?
“Since I graduated from the program, I went from Supervisor to Manager in four months, then to Director in another year. This experience definitely helped to advance my career and the skills I learned continue to serve me well in my day-to-day operations.”