Perspectives: Charles J. Lockwood, MD, MHCM

For someone who doesn’t know you, how would describe your role and contribution to USF Health?

Well, a cheerleader, manager, hopefully leader. I think my job is to make sure that everyone in USF Health understands where health is going. This is the most dynamic time in U.S. health care in our history. Being a change agent and trying to prevent change fatigue amongst all of our faculty and students and staff is another key job. But beyond those roles there’s a lot of day to day management that is required to make sure we have a sustainable model, and so we have to be extraordinarily careful with spending and education yet at the same time adaptable and flexible and understanding that education needs to change. Fortunately we’ve done pretty well. We’ve been able to reduce costs and at the same time increase revenue in multiple areas. So it’s an exciting time for USF Health, but it’s a very challenging time for U.S. health care.

 

What challenges have you faced on the road to your present career?

Top challenge, of course, our students- job number one. Ensuring that our education is absolutely top drawer, that it’s stimulating, it’s fun and that our students are leaving here as well-prepared as any student in the country. Research, I’m a researcher, I’ve been a researcher my whole medical career. I still have a very active lab. We still have grants. Promoting research in this institution, ensuring that every department focuses on research and making it as easy as possible to do research here, by reorganizing our College of Medicine Office of Research, dramatically improving efficiency of our clinical trials. That’s been a real challenge, and then we really had to transform our clinical care to dramatically improve its efficiency and patient satisfaction, patient safety, quality, the scope of the services we provide so that we really are in the top echelon of medical centers and what we can do.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself when you were in college?

Well I would say that- number one, love medicine — be passionate about it and always assume you don’t know enough. Constantly want to learn. I still, whenever I travel, take about 20 different journals with me and my goal is to read through all of them by the time my plane lands and I get a lot of frowns from the flight attendants when they’re collecting trash and I give the 20 used journals. But it’s a great way, particularly on a long flight to get a lot of quality reading done. I would really, strongly admonish our students to read, read, read, read. Keep up with the literature. Medical knowledge is doubling at a tremendous rate and you just have to keep up with the literature. And do it in a way that is fun. I’m constantly trying to understand disease processes, of making little flow diagrams, because I want to know the basic mechanisms of disease and understand better how to prevent them and treat them. And I think it makes me a better doctor, because as a high-risk obstetrician I’m taking care of a lot of patients with medical and surgical, urological and orthopedic and you-name-it kind of problems and you need to be able to understand what’s new and important in those fields.

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EDMUND F. FUNAI, MD

Chief Operating Officer at USF Health, Vice Dean for Administrational at the Morsani College of Medicine and Senior Vice President for Strategic Development at the USF System

 
You have to take care of the team that provides the care so that they can provide the best care."
USF Health: To envision and implement the future of health.

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