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Message From Our President
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Weird Food and Tornado Warnings

           Those of you that know me well know that I have been blessed with physicians that value education and professional development opportunities for me as a manager. I get to attend conferences and be a member of several organizations that help to strengthen my career and my leadership abilities so that I can run a very successful rheumatology practice. As I am writing this, I am sitting in Grand Rapids, MI closing out my second day at the National Organization of Rheumatology Manager’s (NORM) Annual Conference. It has been quite eventful so far and I still have two more full days of conference.

            Me being the glutton for punishment that I am, can’t say no when someone asks me to do something to help them out. Somehow, I have ended up as the chair of the NORM education committee which helps develop the content of the conference as well as the supplemental learnings for the organization. Today we held two separate pre-conference boot camps helping new managers and new physicians get a framework to focus their attention on what matters most in running a practice. The Boot Camps both went well with plenty of attendees asking for more. We had 11 physicians and 36 managers in attendance and each one was grateful for what they learned.

            So, what does my incessant rambling have to do with the title of this letter? Well the committee members always come in the day before to prepare for the workshops and as a thank you, the executive board takes us out to dinner. We went to a local restaurant that had an identity crisis on what style of food they were going to serve as well as an issue with the flavors they chose. We did not want to hurt the incoming president’s feelings, so we told him he made a good choice, but we were lying. We sucked it up and made sure he didn’t realize that no one liked the food. Sometimes, as a practice manager, we must suck it up or swallow a large metaphorical pill to keep people happy and keep things running smoothly. It’s hard to do but it makes us better people and better managers.

            As dinner was winding down, it started getting windy outside. Then seconds later, a huge storm just starts dumping on the downtown Grand Rapids area. Two minutes later, holy tornado warning, the loudest sirens I have ever heard in my life were going off. I’m in a restaurant with people from the east coast and west coast and only the incoming president and I are from the Midwest. The coastal people began panicking, crying, and calling their families because they thought it was the end for them. Many of them had never heard tornado sirens before. Jay and I looked at the radar, realized that the tornados were miles north of us, and began reassuring our friends that they were going to be fine. As managers, we must always be prepared for chaos to break out and if it does, keep calm and be a leader in making sure any danger is mitigated and staff and patients will be okay. Being a strong and confident decision maker and leader and not showing our own anxiety or fear really helps calm others who are emotional.

            As your president, through the people and resources that MGMA has, I hope that I can help instill some confidence in you so that your leadership skills can shine when they are needed. We all make a difference in the lives of so many people that depend on us and I always wish nothing but success for my fellow members.

Shameless Plugs:

Greater St. Louis MGMA Annual Conference October 16, 2019 7:30 AM Orlando’s Dorsett
November Lunch Meeting November 20, 2019 11:30 AM Spazio’s Westport
December Holiday Gathering December 11, 2019 11:30 AM Helen Fitzgerald’s Sunset Hills
Missouri MGMA Conference “Master’s in Healthcare” May 6-8, 2020 Hiltons of Branson, MO

Greg Thompson, MBA
President, Greater St. Louis MGMA 


Greater St. Louis MGMA
PO Box 16012, St. Louis, MO 63105