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My Journey from Clinician to Health Service Manager: Lessons from a 2-Year Internship (By Sally Guo)

By Sally Guo

2nd Year Management Intern

My Journey from Clinician to Health Service Manager: Lessons from a 2-Year Internship

As I reflect on my transition from clinician to health service manager, I’m reminded of the wisdom that says the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, but the second-best time is now. The decision to embark on this journey, whether through the ACSHM internship, further studies, or clinical management roles, was not taken lightly. It required a leap of faith, a seizing of the moment.

In the world of healthcare, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: the pursuit of knowledge must be relentless. While my time at university and in clinical practice provided me with a solid foundation of hard skills, delving into health service management illuminated the importance of soft skills. It’s like tending to a garden of ever-changing diagnoses and treatments, where continuous learning is the bedrock of effective management.

Finding a role model has been instrumental in my growth. Just as in the early days of my clinical career, I watched in awe and learned from seasoned clinicians facing challenging situations. Now, in the realm of health service management, I have a guiding light in a leadership role model. Observing how they navigate team dynamics and handle adversity has been an invaluable source of inspiration.

Overcoming fear has been my greatest triumph. Stepping out of my comfort zone, especially during the transition from clinician to manager, was a journey of self-discovery. While my university education equipped me with essential management skills, the art of leadership was a path I had to forge on my own. It demanded a courage that transcended the boundaries of fear.

Looking back, my two-year internship in health service management has been a crucible of growth. It’s reinforced the importance of seizing each moment, of embracing a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, and cherishing the mentorship that shapes us. Leading in the face of uncertainty has become a deeply personal endeavor. This transition has been more than a shift in my career; it’s been a profound metamorphosis, a continuous process of self-reflection and growth. Through these insights, I’ve come to understand that the journey itself is as enriching as the destination.

Disclaimer: Views are those of individual authors and not those of ACHSM or management intern’s employers.