Dr. Randall Gibb has built a distinguished career as a Gynecologic Oncologist and health care administrator. He established himself as the first Gynecologic Oncologist in the state of Montana at Billings Clinic. Through his leadership and strategic planning, he has saved thousands of lives from his medical training. He also managed to extend his specialty services at clinics across several states, by enabling patients to have access to high quality healthcare.
Dr. Gibb began his training at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. His major was biology and pre-med. He attended Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois for medical school training and did his internship at St Louis University. He trained in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Randall decided to specialize in Gynecologic Oncology. He trained for his specialty at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. After completing specialty training he was hired, as a faculty member. Two years later, he accepted a position at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis where he obtained Associate Professor status. Randall developed his business model at that time and initiated sweeping changes for the program..
Randall’s initiatives included the addition of Gynecologic Oncology clinics that would enable physicians to perform routine surgeries at the local hospital and administer chemotherapy. The clinics also made it possible for collaborative communications with hospitals, physicians, and insurance providers.
No matter where Randall Gibb has served, his compassion for his patients and thoughtful strategies has made enormous changes that affected patients’ lives for the better. He will continue to serve a practice in the profession that he loves so much as a gynecologic oncologist specialist.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
My career in medical administration was an evolutionary process. When people who are not physicians run a hospital or medical clinic, they don’t understand as well what it is to care for a patient. They don’t understand the bond that is created between the physician and their patient. I believe that if we are going to improve the healthcare industry, a physician has to be included in a hospitals’ administration. As a physician, I impact patients one on one. As a CEO or a CMO, I thought I could better influence the way we care for all of our patients. That was the reason that led me to decide to accept an administration position.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
As an Administrator, I would get to the office by 5-5:30 a.m. I could get a lot of work done quietly before 7 a.m. when meetings began. As a CMO, my workday could end at six. I also had one day a week where I could still work with patients or mentors. As CEO, my day was much longer. There were two or three days a week where I’d have to have dinner meetings with donors or attend functions. At other times, I’d have to travel to meet with our affiliates. It was quite a full day. One of the things that I instituted was walk rounds. I would walk with my senior team members a couple of times a week. It was an opportunity to get to know my employees as I did with my patients. I could get
to know them and listen to their concerns. It was a very satisfying and rewarding opportunity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I am not a micromanager. If my employees or team members have an idea, I give them a chance to run with it. If it is my idea then I build consensus and look for participation. I put together the best team and I listen intently to what they have to say. Together we can take a good idea and make it a great one. It is that kind of teamwork that benefits an organization.
What’s one trend that excites you?
As an oncologist, I have seen three things that have completely changed medicine. One of the things is that we are always looking for better ways to treat our patients. The most current trend is that we have a vaccine to eliminate HPV-related cancer for future generations. The biggest thing that excites me is that we are beginning to understand cancer at the genomic level, where the genes are turned on and off. We can also insert other genes. We can decide to boost a persons’ immune system to fight the specific cancer they are battling. This research is going to continue for the next twenty or thirty years. Turning on and off genes in medicine is going to be big and exciting. It is a great time to be in medicine right now.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I set schedules and I am a list person. Once it makes the list, it gets done. I am a fairly regimented person. I set goals. I set priorities and deadlines for each project. I am very goal-oriented when it comes to getting things done. Secondly, I have learned to take time to myself. I meditate for a half-hour a day or read, or just take the time to recharge. I find by taking that time, I am more productive. We have to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of others.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say always take care of your patients, they come first. And always take time for yourself. Then make sure to take care of your family and others around you. Sometimes we forget to do that. I learned that the hard way.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Many people think that taking care of cancer patients is something that doctors’ don’t enjoy. That is so wrong. I find it to be the best job ever. And, I love it. One of the most honorable things that you can do is to get to know your patients . To take care of patients who have cancer and be by their side, even if they are terminal. Many people think it is depressing to treat cancer patients. What you give them, they give back tenfold. I feel very blessed.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
One thing that I do over and over again is to ask myself what I did and how could I do it better. I am not afraid to reevaluate what I am doing. I am not afraid to take risks or make mistakes, that is how we grow.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One of the best things is reading and learning from other people. Networking and connecting with
others is an opportunity for you to get to know people and see how they do things. Sometimes you need support. Learning from others is incredibly important. You can learn and grow together. It can be lonely as an administrator when everyone thinks you have all the answers. It is important to find friends or people that you can learn from and grow within the administration.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge that I had as an administrator was translating my passion for high-quality safe care for everyone in the organization. Working with a healthcare professional can be a bit of a challenge. They are incredibly intelligent and they think they have mastered every aspect of their practice. We have to take data to educate them on what their practice is doing and achieving. Not to be judgmental, but in a partnership way, to provide a complete understanding of their practice, and what can be achieved together. When it comes to patient quality and safety and you have someone pushing back it can be very difficult. But seek consensus and partnership and you’ll achieve the results that you want.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business that would take off would be if someone could create a way for the electronic medical records to be able to communicate universally with one another. We need to start connecting through telehealth systems as well. We need to create a more robust system to secure data and to unify medical communications.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I am a DIY person. The last thing I purchased was a pump and fixtures to replace the water pump at the house. It was very satisfying to save money and to do it myself.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I read all of my journals online. I access all of my journals through the journals’ websites. It is easy and resourceful.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Seven Habits of an Effective Leader by John Maxwell. I have it bookmarked and review it from time to time. I would recommend any of his books.
What is your favorite quote?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
● If an employee has an idea, give them the chance to run with it.
● We have to take care of ourselves to be able to take care of others.
● Don’t be afraid to take risks or make mistakes, that is how we grow.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.