2017 Best EMBAs: Barry Stein, MIT (Sloan)

Barry Stein, MD 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management

“Passionate and innovative with an insatiable desire to positively impact lives and the world.”

Age: 53

Hometown: Born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa

Currently living in West Hartford, CT

Family Members: Regan (wife); Daniel (son); Jason (son); Lilly & Griffin (Welsh Terriers)

Fun fact about yourself: Played guitar in a teenage rock band in Cape Town, South Africa

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa: MD Degree
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School: Radiology Residency
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School: Vascular & Interventional Radiology Fellowship

Where are you currently working?

Hartford HealthCare: Vascular & Interventional Radiologist (minimally invasive image guided surgery), Imaging Informatics Officer and Physician Executive Leader for TeleHealth.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

Extracurricular Activities & Community Work: I am deeply engaged in the evolution, development, and leadership of the Global Center for Glycogen Storage Disease, which cares for affected patients and families from around the world.

Leadership Roles:

  • Current Hartford HealthCare Administrative Leadership Roles: Imaging Informatics Officer, Physician Executive Leader for TeleHealth at Hartford HealthCare;
  • Current EMBA Leadership Roles: Dean Student Advisory Committee
  • Prior Clinical Leadership Roles: Vice Chair, Department of Radiology, Hartford Hospital; Chief, Cardiovascular MRI and CT, Hartford Hospital; Chief, Advanced Imaging & Quantitative Analysis Core Laboratory, Hartford Hospital; Chief Resident, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
  • Current & Prior National Leadership Roles: Informatics Advisory Council, American College of Radiology; Reviewer for the Journal of Vascular & Interventional Radiology, Journal of Radiology; Information Technology Informatics Committee, American College of Radiology; Research Programs Advisory Committee, American College of Phlebology; Examiner for the American Board of Radiology in Diagnostic Radiology and Added Qualification examination for Vascular & Interventional Radiology; American Heart Association’s Committee on Scientific Sessions Program; Subcommittee on Magnetic Resonance Angiography accreditation, American College of Radiology; Chairman, Task Force of Magnetic Resonance Angiography & CT Angiography, Society of Interventional Radiology; Accreditation Committee for Magnetic Resonance Angiography, American College of Radiology; Guidelines and Standards Committee, American College of Radiology; Maintenance of Certification Committee for Vascular & Interventional Radiology; Vascular & Interventional Subcommittee of the Scientific Program, Radiological Society of North America
  • Board Roles: Founding Member of Board of Trustees, Global Center for Glycogen Storage Disease; MIME KLAS Advisory Board; Board of Corporators, Hartford Hospital; Board of Directors, Intersocietal Accreditation Commission, Vascular Testing Board

Awards & Honors: Fellow of the American College of Radiology (FACR); Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology (FSIR); Distinguished Faculty Award, Society of Interventional Radiology; Voted by medical peers as a “Top Doctor” in Hartford; Young Investigator Award, Annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research; Awarded full Academic University Honors in final year of medical school.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I have been privileged to have had the opportunity to translate and apply many of the foundational business school frameworks accrued during my journey at MIT Sloan, towards a rare orphan and often fatal metabolic condition, Glycogen Storage Disease Type 1A (GSD); a disease that has affected and touched my family. I am one of the principals wh has driven the visioning and development of the Global Center for Glycogen Storage Disease. It is a non-profit foundation and center focused on offering patients and families afflicted with GSD, in partnership with Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and University of Connecticut Health Sciences Center. The Center delivers care to patients from ~ 48 states and ~ 45 countries and is one of a handful of sites on the cusp of leading the first human gene therapy trials to cure GSD type Ia.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of having been given the trust, opportunity, and privilege to save so many lives and impact so many families. I have also been fortunate to have been trained by the very best at some of the most revered medical institutions in the world. This equipped me to become one of the pioneers and recognized world experts in cardiovascular MRI and CT, as well as a driver of the global clinical paradigm shift in vascular imaging. Traditional blood vessels were initially examined with an invasive angiogram with all its attendant risks and costs and now has been replaced with a safer quicker and equally accurate non-invasive imaging. This journey afforded me the honor of being invited to be faculty and deliver over 200 lectures at many of the most prestigious cardiovascular symposia around the globe and the honor of “fellow” status in the most esteemed organizations in my field of medicine.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? System Dynamics is one of the signature courses at MIT Sloan (led by Nelson Repenning). System dynamics is an interdisciplinary science helping us understand complex systems in time. Fundamentally, it uses feedback loops where “stocks and flows” change over time, reflecting non-linearity in processes and results. These tools are applied to the behavior of the human as well as technical systems and draws on cognitive and social psychology, economics, and other social sciences. System dynamics provides us the ability to model complex systems and create simulations to better predict outcomes occurring over time. This has provided me intellectual dexterity to navigate complex challenges more deftly and to understand more holistically how perturbations of the myriad of interdependent variables, could potentially impact outcome in a more predictable way.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? MIT Sloan’s renown for its vibrant, innovative, and entrepreneurial milieu coupled with its rigorously analytical, quantitative, and data driven approach to the science of business management, resonated with my strong desire to garner a differentiated skillset to help accelerate and lead the transformation of healthcare delivery. MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Executive MBA are both fiercely mission driven guided by their respective mission statements: “To develop principled innovative leaders who improve the world” and “To equip principled innovative senior leaders with the skills, perspectives and habits necessary to transform the world’s important organizations and institutions.” From the moment I initiated my MIT Sloan exploration, I was struck by the depth of how these mission statements were so tightly woven into the tapestry of conversation and interaction. Every current or alumnus student I met was exuberant about their journey and experience and how much MIT had touched their personal lives and professional and trajectories. The curriculum embodies the mens et manus motto with embedded action learning every step of the way to facilitate amplification of theory from class into impactful everyday practice.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? The importance and benefits of including one’s family, friends, work colleagues, business school teammates, professors, and administrative leadership along the journey at every opportunity cannot be overstated. Along my MBA journey, I lost my sister-in-law far too early in her life and my dearest mother after a four-month sudden deterioration in her health. The rebalancing and navigation of competing priorities was eased by the boundless generous spirit and kindness of my supportive and loving community network.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s executive MBA program? Be authentic, humble, vulnerable, and transparent. Reflect upon the importance of MIT Sloan’s and the executive MBA program’s focus on making a global impact and how it may be synchronous with your modus operandi and goals in life.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? The stereotypical myth that business school is all about maximizing the bottom line was rapidly dispelled at MIT Sloan. The consistent emphasis of being principled leaders, equipped and striving to impact the world’s most challenging problems is palpable in every class and is woven into the fabric of our curriculum and extracurricular activities.

What was your biggest regret in business school?Not always having the opportunity of getting to know everyone at the depth that I had managed with so many others.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The attributes of Jose Garcia epitomize resilience and the power of grit. Jose was born and raised in Nicaragua during a period of civil war and economic distress. At the peak of the conflict, he and his family fled their country and became refugees in Guatemala. They were later repatriated under the sponsorship of the United Nation’s Refugee Agency.

Despite growing up amidst extreme economic adversity, Jose excelled and went on to become the first Nicaraguan in over 20 years to be admitted to the world-renowned United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated in the top 1% of his class and then continued at Stanford University to study construction management.  Jose currently resides in the US and is a successful executive in the high technology construction industry.  Jose has not forgotten where he came from and is committed to giving back and helping those who are far less fortunate. He founded a non-profit that raises funds for orphans in the developing world and his organization supports three orphanages in his home country. Jose is passionate about principled leadership and is involved at MIT to promote the importance of values and ethics in all aspects of leadership.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I recognized the potential impact of additional immersive business and management frameworks to unlock new horizons to transform healthcare delivery.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…missing a vital sense to impact the world.”

What is your favorite company and what are they doing that makes them so special? Tesla has magnificently and brilliantly coalesced technology, power, and environmental sensitivity, demonstrating the ability to shatter boundaries of what is possible without compromising on performance. Elon Musk is iconic in executing upon a dream that may appear impossible according to conventional standards, completely reimagining how we do everything by stretching our frontiers of possibility.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To be an impactful change agent and leader in the transformation of delivery of care.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My humble sage late parents, Morrie and Ruth, who instilled a confidence that anything is possible and the importance of giving back more than what you get. My beautiful, smart, courageous, self-sacrificing, strong, supportive, and loving wife Regan who remains our families anchor, compass, and pillar of strength.  Our inspiring sons Daniel and Jason, who provide us a constant source of strength and wonder and who both provide a crisp reminder that I am a work in progress along my journey of continual improvement. The unyielding support, guidance, and love from my two extraordinarily talented and generous brothers Steven and Laurence, and Jeff Flaks and Rocco Orlando MD, both visionary executive leaders at Hartford HealthCare, for always believing in me and providing opportunities and unconstrained latitude to drive change to make an impact.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Authentic, compassionate, humanistic, humorous, inspiring, a balanced perspective on life, with a desire to nurture others’ inherent strengths and potential.

Favorite book:The Long Walk to Freedom: Nelson Mandela’s autobiography magnifying the power of reconciliation and forgiveness to avert a bloody civil war.

Favorite movie or television show:

  • Movie: Invictus – How Nelson Mandela utilized sport to unify the fractured and traumatized South African nation.
  • Television Show: Seinfeld

Favorite musical performer: Peter Frampton

Favorite vacation spot: Ideally Cape Town, South Africa or wherever my wife and I can “smell the roses” together ocean-side.

Hobbies? Avid “masters” swimmer, passion for exploring new technology, and aviation “junkie” often watching YouTube videos of cockpit views from large commercial aircraft and space shuttles during takeoffs and landings.

What made Barry such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“Barry is a force of nature. Barry came to the MIT EMBA to develop his business skills to bring new innovative technologies to healthcare. He is a pioneer in developing the ability to see blood vessels using MRI to avoid more invasive procedures. The epitome of a hard worker, Barry made his way from South Africa to not only land a prestigious fellowship at Mass General Hospital, but to also focus his work on developing the Global Center for Glycogen Storage Disease because of his son. At the same time, Barry is the most humble person one could meet. His desire to improve the world is strong and apparent in everything he does but most importantly in his work. Barry’s recent focus is to implement a shared imaging system in Hartford Healthcare to improve the delivery of patient care.

Additionally, Barry is a conduit for the program; he is constantly connecting with prospective students at our information sessions or industry specific webinars. He cares deeply about people, which can be witnessed by his connections to his classmates and participation in The MIT Sloan Alumni-Student Mentoring Program. As part of the Dean’s Student Advisory Committee, Barry has taken an active role in sincerely trying to understand all of the opportunities available to students and alumni and how we communicate those opportunities to students. He has been a thoughtful partner to our alumni office any time they have needed someone to give them a student’s perspective and always offers recommendations. Barry is a true citizen of MIT and MIT School of Management. He lives and breathes our mission of being “a principled, innovative leader who improves the world” and encompasses everything we hope for in our students.”

Johanna Hising DiFabio

MIT Executive MBA Program Director


Nelson Repenning

MIT Executive MBA Faculty Director and Faculty

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