Timely Topics: Meet Our Medical Director, Clinical Services, North Campus
Cook Children's is pleased to announce that Anthony Anani, M.D., MPH, MBA, FAAP has accepted the role of Medical Director for Clinical Services at Cook Children's newest medical campus in Prosper, Texas. In addition to supporting the medical center, Dr. Anani will work with our medical staff leadership to help foster clinical excellence and improve patient experience across the region's network of primary care, urgent care and specialty clinics.
Dr. Anani brings a fresh perspective and positive influence that will provide medical staff leadership, strategic and operational planning and continued development of our high quality integrated health care delivery system among his physician peers.
Dr. Anani joined Cook Children's in April 2019 as a gastroenterologist. Previously, Dr. Anani served as an assistant professor and pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children's Hospital – The Woodlands from 2016 to 2019. Prior to that, he spent six years at the Cleveland Clinic as a resident and fellow.
Practicing physician leader Q&A
We recently sat down with Dr. Anani to talk about his role in leadership, what that means to him, his responsibilities in this role and challenges he faces, as well as his vision now and for the future.
When you started practicing medicine did you know that you would want to be in a leadership role at some point?
Not really, but I always found myself in leadership roles, right from medical school where I was my class leader, and captain of the university basketball team (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), so my peers always looked towards me as a leader.
Is there anything about the medical director role that surprised you or you did not anticipate?
The amount of emails and meetings you get drawn into, and how quickly you're expected to be able to speak to issues that arise from day to day
Are there lessons learned from the medical director perspective that would have been beneficial for you to know as a new physician?
I have always been a "big picture" type of person. And, this new role has really helped me connect more of the dots and see where I and my colleagues into the overall strategy of Cook Children's mission to provide quality care to our communities.
Our health care system services cover a very large geographic area – what are the challenges of this for physicians?
Being present! And truly a part of the community where you work. Cook Children's has done a great job of finding doctors who will live and work in the Prosper area and truly be a part of the fabric of the community we serve, just as we have done for a 100 years in and around Fort Worth. The challenge as we continue to grow is not to lose the essence and culture of Cook Children's.
Did your view or perspective of medical directors and administrators change once you took on this role?
Yes and no. I had always had healthy respect for how difficult and challenging the job was with my business and public health education. But managing your peers in different specialties, with different wants and needs, while remaining one of them and not being viewed as an administrator, that is the part that can only come with the job.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for physicians today?
A lot of physicians feel like replaceable cogs in a wheel who have very little control in our day-to-day practice. Cook Children's is unique because the physician voice is heard and listened to and we must strive to continue this culture, as it is getting lost all over the country and in our health systems.
What are the unique challenges facing physicians and health providers in pediatrics as compared to adult medicine?
Pediatricians have to deal with the dichotomy of our patients and their parents, it is important to be aware of this dynamic as we care for our patients. Knowing the motivation of the parents, allows us to tailor care. The best scenario would be if the motivations align with quality care, but sometimes it can be a challenge. Our population of patients are vulnerable and so we are passionate advocates for our patients and sometimes there may be no financial resources or the system does not have an answer to our agitations and this can take some of the joy out of being a pediatrician.
If you could give advice to a new physician just starting their career what would it be?
Remember why you got into medicine and whatever field you are in and strive to be good at it. It is the foundation upon which any future success - financial, professional or otherwise will come.
What advice would you give to a physician who wants to take a more active role in leadership?
This is a hard one so I am going to quote the advice I got when I asked this question at my last job: "First of all you have to be a competent physician, then you have to show interest in committees and groups so that folks know you are interested. Then when the opportunities arise you apply yourself and even when it does not work out, you have continued to improve upon yourself." Most times though we are reluctant leaders, and the opportunities happen without us actively seeking it out, for others see potential in us that we did not realize existed till we got the opportunity to manifest it.
Get to know more about Dr. Anani and Cook Children's growing North Campus in Prosper, Texas.