Dr. Roger Wu, MD, MBA, TeamHealth facility medical director, was named one of the 2019 Gar LaSalle Medical Directors of the Year at our National Medical Leadership Conference in April, but his first connection with TeamHealth was during his 3rd year of residency at Brown University at a TeamHealth residency event.
Dr. Wu attended his first TeamHealth residency event at the beginning of his 3rd year of residency for a screening of the Emergency Medicine documentary Code Black. The documentary provided an up-close look at the inner workings of the treatment of trauma patients at one of America’s busiest emergency departments, Los Angeles County + USC Medical Center.
After meeting Dr. Wu at the movie screening in Providence, Rhode Island, and learning of his interest in moving to the West Coast after graduation, Ellen Delgado, who worked in residency recruiting at the time, kept in touch with Dr. Wu during his last two years of his residency. He attended another TeamHealth dinner in June 2015 with his wife, Dr. Laura Wong, and decided to join TeamHealth as a Special Operations physician, relocating to California. The position would provide Dr. Wu with the perfect mix of clinical diversity and leadership training.
With a background in consulting as well as an MBA in Healthcare management, Dr. Wu enjoyed the opportunities to innovate that come along with leadership. He attended leadership boot camps and other training courses for future leaders that TeamHealth offered, and he was promoted to Facility Medical Director at Lodi Memorial Hospital in Northern California in October of 2017, just over a year after joining TeamHealth as a Special Operations physician.
Aside from the incredible talent, he brings to the table, the breadth of experience with Special Operations is a factor that helps him continue to innovate and evolve his growing department.”
TeamHealth Emergency Medicine, West Group Vice President Sujal Mandavia, MD
Why did you become a doctor?
Dr. Wu: It’s not an inspiring or glamorous story. My mother was a nurse, so I had some exposure to healthcare through her. I actually ended up as a healthcare consultant first after college and worked mostly in hospital operations, but through that and another experience, where I studied abroad in a public health program in South Africa, I noticed that physicians are always in a position to influence and inspire change. Ultimately, I went to medical school and did a combined degree, MD/MBA.
What do you love most about practicing medicine?
Dr. Wu: Medicine is a craft that grows with you. It’s part science, part art. Science is the knowledge and techniques that lead to consistent results; for example, antibiotics for sepsis. Art is the expression of self, so the vibe when you’re on shift, your relationships with the nurses and techs, your bedside manner, your flow in the department. Early on, it’s all about the science. As time passes, it’s the art that keeps it interesting.
What have been the most challenging parts for you of being a doctor?
Dr. Wu: The most challenging aspect is also the most enjoyable aspect. There’s always something new to learn, which is one of the main reasons I went into medicine, but it also means you should never get too comfortable. Experience informs our decision making but also teaches us that a lot is beyond our control. Few other pursuits in life are simultaneously both empowering and humbling like medicine.
Is there someone who has inspired you along the way, got you to where you are?
Dr. Wu: In different phases in my career, I’ve had different mentors. It’s one of the best pieces of advice that I received when I was a resident: There are different phases in our careers, chapters in our lives, and I learn different things from different mentors.
What does being a TeamHealth physician mean to you?
Dr. Wu: One of my favorite quotes is that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with. It’s certainly true in personal life, but I think professionally, too. I try to surround myself with folks that are better, people who push me to live right outside of my comfort zone. That’s where all of the growth happens. I think that’s what TeamHealth is about: attracting the best talent and pushing each other to achieve something greater together.
Is there anything you hope to accomplish or what difference do you want to make in the future? Is there a goal out there that you want to reach someday?
Dr. Wu: I just try to stay present, live day by day, enjoy and learn from every shift, every interaction. I appreciate all of the support I receive from TeamHealth as a leader. I am excited by opportunities to create. It’s like building a house or space that is welcoming and inspiring, where clinicians can focus on what is most important — personal growth, pride in our work, and meaningful relationships with our family, colleagues, consultants, and patients.
Thank you, Ellen. Your dinner introduced me to TeamHealth. I’ll always owe ya for that one.”
Dr. Roger Wu, facility medical director at Lodi Memorial in California.
Check out this video where Dr. Wu talks about working with TeamHealth, and about the community he serves.
Are you a resident interested in learning more about TeamHealth? Connect with us on our residency page or check out our leadership page to find out more about how we support and promote our physicians.