Each year on February 3, we honor women physicians and celebrate their contributions to TeamHealth and to the field of medicine. Today, in honor of National Women Physicians Day, Dr. Mary-Katherine Harper, DO, MBA, FACOEP is sharing her story.
Dr. Mary-Katherine Harper knew that she wanted to be a physician since elementary school as a result of dealing with a death at a young age. She reportedly told her grandmother at age six that she was going to be a doctor because she felt that she could have saved him. Growing up with little, she always wanted to be in a position to make a difference in someone’s life.
Mary-Katherine has done just that – she’s made a difference in the lives of so many. Although she has many awards and accolades, she admits that we frequently don’t realize the influence we have and underestimate how inspiring we can be.
Dr. Harper’s Career Journey
As a practicing Emergency Medicine physician for over 10 years, Mary-Katherine’s career journey is remarkable. Nearly seven years ago, she stepped into leadership – first as an Assistant Facility Medical Director, then as a Facility Medical Director, before transitioning into her current position, Regional Medical Director for West Group. Mary-Katherine credits TeamHealth for the ability to continuously grow as a physician, leader, and woman.
Dr. Harper credits TeamHealth for offering many opportunities that she never dreamed of having. Her organization enabled her to obtain an MBA from the University of Tennessee. She has had coaching calls with wisdom pearls on how to be a better version of herself and has access to many incredible leaders who are always willing to answer questions or provide support.
Dr. Harper also knows that she would not be where she is in her career without her mentors within the organization. Specifically, Jennifer Behm, Executive Vice President, TeamHealth West Group, Dr. Heather Owen, Chief Clinical Officer, Emergency Medicine and Roberta Himebaugh, Senior Vice President, TeamHealth West Group have all inspired her along her career journey.
Jennifer Behm was instrumental in Dr. Harper’s early development. Dr. Harper was extremely nervous about how leadership would impact her presence in the home. Together, they discussed how to manage a very successful career and be equally impactful at home. Dr. Heather Owen provided Dr. Harper with many pearls. Dr. Harper also admires Dr. Owen as a leader – she is genuine, empathetic, and always up-managing those around her. Roberta Himebaugh is someone who Dr. Harper turns to almost daily. She always takes time to listen, provide assistance, and most importantly, provide assurance.
“I am incredibly honored to be surrounded by so many admirable physicians. Throughout the field of medicine, there are countless, successful women making a difference every day. I am humbled by the opportunity to work with them and learn from them.”
Advice to Women Physicians
Dr. Harper’s advice to women physicians is to surround yourself with those who inspire you to grow and challenge you. Growth does not always come easily. With perseverance, you can pave the path you chose. The sky is the limit. Dream BIG. You will have every opportunity within this organization.
Are you inspired by Mary-Katherine’s story? This could be you! TeamHealth has openings across the country where we will provide the support and opportunities for you to advance in your career, while also valuing your life outside of work. Check out our careers website to learn more.
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