2018 Best EMBAs: Vesna Petronic-Rosic, University of Chicago (Booth)

Vesna Petronic-Rosic, MD, MSc

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

“I am curious, thoughtful, kind, creative, humble, ambitious, and passionate about everything I do.”

Age: 52

Hometown: Belgrade, Serbia

Family Members: husband Nenad, daughter Ana, and son Andrej (in the US); brother Jovan and nephew Djordje (in Serbia)

Fun fact about yourself:  I love to fix things and have been known to disassemble the iron, hairdryer, vacuum, laundry machine (both washer and dryer)…not all of them would come back together neatly.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

09/1984-12/1989             M.D., University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Yugoslavia (Summa cum laude, 9.64/10.0)

07/1989-08/1989             Advanced Training at the Departments of Dermatology and Venereology

  • University of Gothenburg, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden (4w)
  • University of Stockholm, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden (2w)
  • University of Lund, Lasarettet Hospital, Lund, Sweden (2w)

01/1990-12/1994             Postgraduate Medical Studies, University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

  • Degree: M.Sc. (Master of Science Degree in the field of Dermatovenereology) received 12/1994. Thesis: Clinical and histopathological analysis of intralesional cyclosporine versus anthralin in patients with psoriasis vulgaris
  • 1990/91: classes
  • 1992/94: clinical research and thesis preparation (during residency)
  • 12/04/1994: thesis defense

05/1992-05/1995             Resident, Dermatovenereology, University of Belgrade School of Medicine, Belgrade, Yugoslavia

12/1997-08/1999             Fellow, Dermatopathology, Institute for Dermatopathology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

08/1999-08/2000             Resident, Transitional Year, Conemaugh Valley Medical Center, Johnstown, PA

08/2000-08/2003             Resident, Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

08/2003-08/2004             Fellow, Dermatopathology, Department of Medicine, Section of Dermatology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Where are you currently working?

Professor of Medicine/Dermatology and Pathology, Dermatopathology Fellowship Program Director, University of Chicago, Section of Dermatology. I was Chief, Section of Dermatology 7/1/2016 – 3/1/2018, when I transitioned the role in preparation for my new position starting April 30, 2018:

Chair of the Georgetown University MedStar Washington Hospital Center Department of Dermatology and Chair of MedStar Health Dermatology for the Washington Region.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:



2004-2012           Director, Physician Directed Practice, Dermatology

2004-2013           Clinical Operations Committee, Dermatology

2004-2013           Member, Department of Medicine Quality Control Committee

2004-2015           Director, Dermatology Laboratory

2010-2011           Phoenix 2011 Project Steering Committee

2010-2012           Physician Phoenix Committee (EPIC implementation)

2012-2013           Ambulatory Practice Medical Director, Dermatology

2004-2018           Residency Selection Committee

2004-2018           Fellowship Selection Committee

2011-2018           Experimental Promotion Group for Women Faculty

2013-2018           Director, Dermatopathology Fellowship Program

2013-2018           Graduate Medical Education Committee

2015-2018           Director, Phototherapy and Cosmetic Services

2016-2017           Interim Chief, Section of Dermatology

2017-2018           Chief, Section of Dermatology

2017-2018           Member, Finance Committee, Department of Medicine, Biological Sciences Division


2006-present      Expert Dermatologist, University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center


2007-2015           Team Leader, College of American Pathologists (CAP) Inspection Team for the University of Chicago Medicine

2007-present      Inspector, CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program

Invited, elected or appointed extramural service


2004-present      American Academy of Dermatology Diversity Mentorship Program

2005-present      American Academy of Dermatology IDEA panel

2007-present      Advisory Board, Educational Testing Consultants

2012-2015           American Academy of Dermatology Access to Dermatologic Care

2016-2019           American Academy of Dermatology Needs Assessment & Outcomes Committee

2016                     American Academy of Dermatology Professional Expert Evaluation Review (PEER) Program

  • Live Demonstration: Soft Tissue Augmentation and Neuromodulators – Simultaneous Cadaver Prosection  (Session ID 145)
  • Advances in Lasers and Light Sources: What’s the Truth? (Session ID 151)

2016-present      American Society of Dermatopathology Continuing Education & Research Committee, Ad Hoc Member

2017                      Judge, “Dermatopathology Trainee World Cup”, 20th Joint Meeting of the ISDP. Orlando, FL: March 1-2, 2017


2009                     Co-Chair, Interventional Cosmetic Dermatology. European Society for Cosmetic & Aesthetic Dermatology at the 18th European Academy of DermatoVenereology Congress, Berlin in association with the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology. Berlin, Germany. October 7, 2009

2010-present      Board of Directors, Resident Liaison, International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

2012-present      Chair, Resident Contest Committee, International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

2012                     Chair: Inaugural Edward L Keyes Scholarship Resident Contest. 8th World Congress of the International Academy of            Cosmetic Dermatology, Cancun, Mexico

2012                     Course Director: Dermatopathology. 7th World congress of the IACD/ Cairo Derma IV. Cairo Egypt

2013                     Chair: Dermatosurgery, 9th World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 27-30, 2013, Athens, Greece

2013                     Chair: Edward L Keyes Scholarship Resident Contest. 9th World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 27-30, 2013, Athens, Greece

2013                     Member, Scientific Committee, 19th Congress of the Serbian Association of Dermatovenereologists, June 13-15 2013, Belgrade, Serbia

2013                     Chair: Aesthetic Dermatology, 19th Congress of the Serbian Association of Dermatovenereologists, June 13-15 2013, Belgrade, Serbia

2014                     Co-Chair: Granulomatous diseases: Spectrum and work-up, EADV Spring Symposium, May 22-25, 2014, Belgrade, Serbia

2014                     Director and Chair: Histology Symposium: Melanoma or not? Do the Path. World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, September 3-6, 2014. Edinburgh, UK

2014                     Where to do the biopsy and how to interpret the pathology report: helping the dermatologist help the dermatopathologist. Histology Symposium Melanoma or not? Do the Path. World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, September 3-6, 2014. Edinburgh, UK

2014                     International Member, Scientific Programme Committee, World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, September 3-6, 2014. Edinburgh, UK

2015                     Chair: Joint Session: Dermatopathology / Ophthalmic Pathology, 27th European Congress of Pathology, September 5-9, 2015 Belgrade, SE

2015                     Chair: Edward L Keyes Scholarship Resident Contest. 10th World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology, November 15-17, 2015, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2016                     Chair: Edward L Keyes Scholarship Resident Contest. 11th World Congress of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology, June 23-25, Panama City, Panama

2017                     Chair: Edward L Keyes Scholarship Resident Contest. 12th World Congress of Cosmetic Dermatology, May 4-7, 2017, Bengaluru, India

2017                     Chair: Cosmeceuticals. World Congress of Cosmetic Dermatology, May 4-7, 2017, Bengaluru, India


1995-1997           Editorial Board, Acta Dermatovenerologica Iugoslavica

2005-present      Editorial Board, SKINMed

2007-present      Section Editor, Case Presentations, SKINMed

2011-present      Deputy Editor, SKINMed

2015-present      Editorial Board, Clinics in Dermatology

2016-present      Editorial Board, Serbian Journal of Dermatology and Venereology

2016-present      Section Editor, Investigational Rounds, Clinics in Dermatology


Acta Dermatovereologica (Stockholm)

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology

American Journal of Dermatopathology

Archives of Dermatological Research

European Journal of Dermatology

JAMA Dermatology

Journal of Clinical Immunology

Journal of Cutaneous Pathology

Journal of Dermatological Science

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

Leukemia and Lymphoma


1988                     October Award of the City of Belgrade for Distinguished Achievements in Scientific Research Work (Single highest award for scientific achievement at the national level given out annually to a handful of researchers who have significantly advanced the field)

1988                     Scholarship Award for Graduate Medical Studies granted by the National Foundation for Development of Science and Arts-Oriented Young (I received this financial award for my 4th and 5th year of medical school, which is the maximum allowed)

1989                     Award for Excellent Lecture delivered at the XVI Conference of the Students Scientific Society, University Medical School, Debrecen, Hungary

1989                     University Award for Special Achievements throughout Studies (in recognition of top 1% of medical students)

1990                     Scholarship Award for Postgraduate Medical Studies granted by the National Foundation for Development of Science and Arts-Oriented Young People

1996                     Award for Outstanding Cooperation and Assistance with the Students’ Organization of the University of Belgrade School of Medicine (Annual award given out by the Student Body to a single clinical faculty member)

1998                     International Society of Dermatopathology Scholarship Award (One award every 1-2 years for a dermatologist or pathologist living outside of the US to train in dermatopathology for one year at a program of their choice in the US)

2004                     European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology Travel Award

2006                     American Academy of Dermatology Leadership Forum Award

2011                     TopDocChicago Award

2011                     AAD Diversity Mentorship Award (Freda Sansaricq, MS II)

2011                     Top US Dermatologists Award, Consumer Research Council of America

2013                     Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors

2015                     Outstanding Service Award, The University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division

2015                     Top US Dermatologists Award, Consumer Research Council of America

2016                     Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors

2016                     Alice in Wonderland’s “Alice Award” for outstanding achievement in demonstrating significant comfort with ambiguity. Negotiations, Professor Linda Ginzel, Executive MBA, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

2017                     Chicago Magazine Top Cancer Doctors

2017                     Castle Connolly Exceptional Women In Medicine

2018                     Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors


Dermatology Residents

Current: Rebecca Kaiser (PGY4), Laura Buford (PGY4), Ashley Jenkins (PGY4) and Juliana Gao (PGY4)

Past: Haider Bangash, Min Deng, Adaobi Nwaneshiudu, Brian Pucevich, Edidiong Kaminska, Juliana Basko-Plluska, Gloria Xu, Sonya Kenkare, Edidiong Kaminska, Shani Francis, Justin Wasserman, Olga Ulitsky, Jessica Sheehan, Diana Bolotin, Amy Farmer, Mario Lacouture, Arlene Molino.

Pathology Residents

Zeba Singh, Xiufeng Zhang

Dermatopathology Fellows

Current: Lohini Sundarkrishnan

Past: Ashley Feneran, Heather Peck, Kristen Paral , Adaobi Nwaneshiudu, Juliana Basko Plluska, Cindy Davis, Christopher Kinonen, Kimberly Neyman, Zeina Djani, Emily Green, Justin Wasserman, Arlene Ruiz De Luzuriaga, Jie Song, Mark Racz, Robert Chen, Keith Duffy, Darryl Oble, Pedram Gerami, Wenhua Liu, Jesse Jiang

Junior Faculty

WLC Event First Friday Lunch hosted by Vesna Petronic-Rosic, Department of Medicine and Julie Henly, School of Social Service Administration, January 6, 2012

Volunteer activities

2008-present     Free skin cancer screening on the beach (annual)

2012                     National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit & Skin Cancer Screening

2013                     Free skin cancer screening in association with the Health Fair organized by the Serbian American Medical and Dental            Society

Extracurricular interests

I am a big fan of worldwide travel, movies (especially sci-fi and fantasy), and the performing arts. I am also an AAFA certified group exercise instructor and love to spend time at the gym in various classes that combine aerobic exercise, martial arts, and dance.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? If I had to name only one, it would be the Alice in Wonderland’s “Alice Award” for outstanding achievement in demonstrating significant comfort with ambiguity, awarded by class vote in Linda Ginzel’s negotiations course.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of becoming Professor and Chief of Dermatology at the University of Chicago. As an immigrant and a foreign medical graduate, it is the highest honor to reach top rank at such a prestigious University. I am the only person from Serbia that has achieved the rank of Professor and Chief at a dermatology department in the US (or anywhere in the world).

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Lars Stole – because he loves what he does and is an amazing teacher. Fun, wicked smart, caring and always concerned that someone may not have understood the material thoroughly. He took the time to answer all questions and responded to emails with lightning speed. His dedication to our education in the classroom was supreme. In addition, he has the quirkiest hobby: woodworking.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? I truly enjoyed almost every single course I attended, so it is quite difficult to pick a favorite. Perhaps I can narrow it down to the following:

  1. Microeconomics: I “got it” because Lars Stole was amazing and the TAs, Jim and Arvid, priceless. Biggest insight: I am very good at quantitative subject material and have become the queen of data in my work! It has helped me achieve so many “wins” because I defended my position with calculations and graphs that reflected reality in a coherent and persuasive form.
  2. Competitive Strategy: Ram Shivakumar was such a passionate orator that I would find myself bewitched and barely breathing so that I would not miss anything. Biggest insight: it is all about the customer value proposition! With his help, I have created a CVP for my patients that I will launch in a new business model at Georgetown University.
  3. Organizations and Incentives: What can I say about Mike Gibbs that is not already a mantra? He is such a dedicated and genuine, gentle intellectual giant that I feel honored to know him and be his friend on Facebook. His course and his book are a treasure for growing and nurturing better organizations where the workers are happy and the customers satisfied. Biggest insight: monetary incentives do not motivate people to do the work they love, but lack thereof will have a major impact on their job satisfaction.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? It was love at first sight; I attended an information session (to keep my son company) and the video they showed enchanted me. The intellectual challenge, the rigor, the Nobel Prize winning professors; I was thunderstruck. I asked more questions than any other attendant. Melissa came up to me afterwards and said I should really go to the Executive MBA informational session the following week, because it was better suited for my career. It was the last one of that year and I was enrolled in the Executive MBA program six weeks later.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I loved the learning, being in class and absorbing all the knowledge I could, surrounded by so many smart and successful classmates. What struck me was the vulnerability and trust that we shared as a cohort; it has bonded us forever.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? I learned that leadership is a personal commitment to one’s self and one’s unique approach to creating a culture and a feeling of empowerment, where every person in the organization takes responsibility and is acknowledged for their contribution. Good leadership should inspire people, intellectually and emotionally, to excel in their contributions to the organization as a whole.  It should engender a community intertwined by a deep sense of belonging.

I applied the principles of leadership capital, ethics, organizational incentives and managerial decision making to enable an environment of trust, transparency and collegiality that offers a kinship and a support structure people can rely on imperceptibly. Implementing transparency in decision-making and open communication helped realign duties to best fit skills and desires. It built on individuals’ strengths and allowed them to complement one another while leveraging their distinctive talents. In order to stimulate a healthy, value-based team atmosphere where all the individuals would be satisfied with their contributions and rewards, I implemented incentive components that provide rewards for all three missions – patient care, medical education, and research (along with citizenship) – are transparent, easy-to-understand and calculate, and flexible enough to withstand transitions. Town hall meetings and suggestion boxes enhanced alignment within the organization and offered awareness of unity that would stimulate collegiality and personal responsibility. I also started team-building exercises to motivate people to work together, develop their strengths, address any limitations, and to encourage collaboration and trust rather than competition.  andom acts of kindness in the form of cafeteria vouchers, notes of thanks, and shout-outs for good deeds provided small bouts of joy, a sense of well-being, and happiness with their achievements.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? I developed a pretty standard routine a few months into the program. Friday lunch and some breaks were spent answering work emails and completing work-related projects, while the evenings ran late with my study group. Come Saturday 4:30 pm, my kids would be waiting for me in front of Gleacher and we would go get dinner or catch a movie together. My daughter took over the cooking, so I could study on Sundays, when the whole family would have lunch together. In a way, it made us plan better and then stick to the plan. We knew if we missed the opportunity, another one would not come for a week or two. We were all in it together!

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? That I would not be able to juggle work, school and family at the same time. Work expands to fill the time allotted, and so I did all my work, and actually more (because I unexpectedly became Section Chief the first week of business school), just in less time. I became more efficient and more focused. Family time needed to be scheduled and I respected the schedule fervently. The support of my husband and children enabled me to endure high stress levels with relative ease.

What was your biggest regret in business school? That I did not take the elective that would have made me proficient in the use of Excel (Managerial Decision Modeling).

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Tim Dennison because he was always contributing to class in ways everyone could understand and would come up during breaks to offer additional clarification to make sure the person truly understood. Not to mention, he received a tenured Professorship at Oxford to help improve the UK economy from a biomedical engineering point of view. I took many photos with him, as I expect he will win a big and famous prize some day, and I will be so very proud!

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I attended the Booth information session as a companion to my son, Andrej, who was considering getting an MBA and asked me to tag along.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…probably in Law School…this was a much better idea.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I am captivated by the endless possibilities of building a workplace that understands all aspects of the medical profession. My goal is to be the executive who unveils strength and structure meant to nurture our potential and grow it into a coherent, coordinated and eagerly desired work environment.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As the chic and smart professor who asked questions no one else would and was fondly thought of as “the positive externality.”

Favorite book: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Favorite movie or television show: My favorite movie of all-time is The Sound of Music because of the beautiful music, which I often sing with my daughter (we both love the movie and have seen it many times), and the family values it represents. That said, I am a huge movie buff and have many “favorite” movies, such as Star Trek, The King’s Speech, Prince of Persia, etc. Each one of them has a special memory attached.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? My bucket list items change frequently as I check them off one-by-one. There are a couple that have withstood the transitions over time: learning Spanish (I had taken some baby steps before starting the MBA, so time to get back to it) and to play the piano (this one might stay on the bucket list for a while).

What made Vesna such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Wow. That was my first impression of Vesna. A highly accomplished medical doctor who was seeking to become a better leader and person,Vesna could certainly have rested on her accomplishments and continued to mentor medical students, chair conferences, write research papers, and live an amazing life. However, she opted to enrich our classrooms and hallways at Chicago Booth while being an engaged mother, well-respected doctor, and lifelong learner. We are grateful to Vesna for all that she has contributed to our program, school and alumni.

As she moves on to her new professional adventure, I know that she will be one of those alumni who will continue to give back and be a source of inspiration for Chicago Booth prospective students. We are thrilled that Vesna is an ambassador in the health field who understands and appreciates what this MBA experience can accomplish in her industry and for the betterment of patients.”

Patty Keegan

Associate Dean

University of Chicago, Booth School of Business

Executive MBA Program North America


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