The Olivia file Featured

8:00pm EDT August 26, 2010

Education: Bachelor’s degree, science and premed, The Pennsylvania State University; medical degree, Hahnemann Medical School; master’s degree, business administration, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

What is your favorite part about your job?

I’m a surgeon by training and the best part of being a surgeon was when you could operate on somebody and help them see better. I’m an ophthalmologist. That was very gratifying to me; that’s why I went into medicine.

The most gratifying part of what I do is really down the road, after the organization is successful, seeing it be successful. That is enormously gratifying to me. I look back at my organization that was close to bankruptcy in the Philadelphia area, The Cooper Health System, and they’re thriving today with a new hospital, new medical school and helping revitalize the whole city of Camden, N.J. We all have reasons for doing the things that we do, but for me, it’s the same as it was when I practiced medicine full time, which was seeing patients do better.

Olivia on understanding your business and industry: You have to understand your industry and be dogged in how it works and how it is changing. Spend a lot of time out on the boundaries of your business and ask people who deal with the industry in different ways than you do — solicit their input on how they see things going. Ultimately, surround yourself with smart people and take their advice. The smartest people that I know are the ones that know what they don’t know, and they go out and solicit input from others.