Denisonians in Health Professions: Dermatology

Denisonians in health professions: dermatology - oscar-hoffman-265x300.png image #0Oscar Hoffman ’13

Current job: Clinic Manager, Medical & Surgical Dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Professional School attended: Cornell University, graduated in 2017

Fun Fact:
I sail competitively in my free time.

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I completed my first administrative internship after my junior year at Denison with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins. It was during this internship that I discovered the complexities of running an outpatient specialty practice within a large medical institution such as Johns Hopkins. I learned that I could still help patients when they are at their most vulnerable by being a successful administrator. A good administrator allows medical staff to focus fully on caring for the patient while we manage the regulatory, financial and human capital activities.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
Being able to still have an impact even though I am not providing patient care. I have already been told by several patients in my new role that the staff I manage are what made their experiences with our clinic positive. It is not just the medicine that helps patients heal, but the environment of care and kindness that everyone from my front desk staff to our most famous physicians provide.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Relationships with medical staff. The constant challenge that a non-clinical staff member such as myself encounters is supporting the clinical staff the best you can. Since I am not clinical, I cannot help out some of my staff if one of my Medical Assistants calls out, as much as I want to. We all want to do what we can for the patients, but we are limited by what we are allowed to do.

Describe what a “typical day” looks like for you.
I don’t have one! Every day is different. My clinic sees upwards of 400 patients a week, but issues can range wildly. Just last week, the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene made a surprise appearance to the Outpatient Clinics. My entire morning calendar went out the window as I implemented “Just in Time” regulatory checklists and processes. The next minute I could have a patient complaint, provider concern, machine malfunction, staff concern, etc. No day is the same which is one of the main reasons why I love my job.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
There are many avenues that one can use to enter healthcare. I specifically am an “operations guy,” but I have friends that work solely in finance, HR, and regulatory. Hours can be long because of the nature of the industry. I am expected to work regardless of weather, civil disruptions and most holidays.