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My First Week at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

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brent braveman's blog

Thoughts about occupational therapy, interdisciplinary management and living live to its fullest!

My First Week at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

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So I made it through my first week of work in my new job as Director of Rehabilitation Services at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; 5 LONG but wonderful days! A few first impressions........

First, this place means business! They truly invest in their employees; the orientation and training programs are impressive. My orientation was set up for 4 weeks upon my arrival. In addition to the regular employee orientation I have 2 weeks of shadowing other Department Directors in my division and meetings with director "buddies" for support and to receive mentoring. After those 2 weeks I have 2 weeks of orientation to the clinical operations of Rehabilitation services and a chance to meet with clinicians in all areas of OT and PT services and a thorough introduction to cancer rehabilitation. All the typical systems stuff (finance, performance appraisals, business systems) are sprinkled throughout. Boy there are a TON of systems here I will need to learn!

After years of teaching about values-based management and how organizations can demonstrate their values in everyday policies and procedures I am thrilled to say that I think I struck pay dirt! M. D. Anderson's values are 1) Caring, 2) Integrity and 3) Discovery and as a new employee you hear about the values constantly. There is a very well done self-training on ethics, customer service and safety and it is all successfully tied to the organization's values.

I have never been exposed to an organization that places a higher emphasis on quality, quality improvement and customer satisfaction! The pride that my fellow employees and new colleagues have for working in this place and with patients with cancer is pervasive! M.D. Anderson is a very special place indeed.

I am sure that there will be challenges here as there are in any organization, especially one so large as M.D. Anderson (over 18,000 employees and over 100 in my Department alone!) but my first impressions could not be more positive.

I am particularly impressed with the spirit of cooperation and interdisciplinary collaboration and respect that I have witnessed, both here in my new Department where I am responsible for physical therapy and occupational therapy but throughout the Cancer Center.

Clearly, I have TONS to learn, but I think it is going to be fun, rewarding AND I am optimistic that I have a lot to contribute as well!

Stay tuned! There will be LOTS to write about here!

  • Way to go Brent!  So happy that you are enjoying this new step in your life.  I am throughly convinced that with your passion and knowledge, you can do anything you put you mind to.  Your new facility and coworkers are so lucky to have you!