2019 Best EMBAs: Dr. Janis L Green, University of Maryland (Smith)

Dr. Janis L Green, FACOG

University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business

“Surgeon turned business leader with a laser-focused mission to provide accessible quality care to the underserved.”

Age: 40

Hometown: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Family Members: Married to John Thomas Green III; Sons: Jack, 8; Jacob, 6; Joshua, 2

Fun fact about yourself: I’m a Harry Potter fan. Recently – for my 40th birthday – my husband surprised me with tickets to the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Broadway production.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia

MD from Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Where are you currently working? Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgeon (MIGS) and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgeon (FPMRS) with the Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group, McLean, VA

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:  

Green Acres School, Bethesda Maryland: Grade parent representative and Diversity and Inclusion Committee member

Clinical Assistant Professor of OBGYN at Penn State University College of Medicine

In-hospital teaching of Resident Physicians and Georgetown medical students.

Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of having my peers and Smith Leadership recognize my performance in this rigorous program and nominate me to represent this program in this, “Best and Brightest,” recognition.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am extremely proud of bringing two gynecologic surgery sub-specialties (MIGS & FPMRS) practices to Kaiser Mid Atlantic Permanente Medical Group. This was significant because it was a culmination of my career aspirations after leaving a successful private practice to complete a rigorous surgery fellowship program with a four-month-old child in tow. This practice was the first of this type of subspecialty care line for a large managed care organization. I conceived the program from the ground up, laying the framework for everything from the office-based practice to how surgical services would be offered. This undertaking was similar to starting a new business, it was essentially an internal startup.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? It is between Charles Olson (Micro- and Macroeconomics) and Gary Cohen (International Business). It’s an even tie – for different reasons. Professor Olson taught me to maximize thinking critically and to establish myself as a leader in the room when I spoke. On the flipside, Professor Cohen showed me how to combine the basic academic knowledge – accounting, marketing, finance, human resource management, etc. – I had accumulated and apply them strategically in real-life business cases. This is especially valuable to me as a lifelong learner and practicing physician because I enjoy learning and applying what I’ve learned in real-life scenarios. Professor Cohen’s class provided the first opportunity for me to do so.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Leadership and Human Capital: This course reinforced my appreciation for human capital as any organization’s most valuable asset – especially in the healthcare service industry. It has sharpened my skills in managing and developing skills in staff and trainees under my supervision.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? I looked at East coast MBA programs from Virginia to Boston and chose Smith for two reasons: its Executive Coaching program and Leadership Projects that engage you with local companies on real-life cases. For example, during our Leadership and Human Capital course, we developed an employee engagement and development initiative with, and for, the developer and operator of a health benefit exchange system for Washington D.C. and Massachusetts. The company’s critical involvement in the healthcare industry made the experience especially valuable and further reinforced the skills I developed in the this course to make an impact, in real time, on the management of human capital in my role with Kaiser.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? As a physician, like an expert in any field, your day-to-day work should not become routine. So as a lifelong learner, the executive MBA program is invaluable. Participating in classes and studying new material helped to encourage different perspectives of thinking and problem-solving reinvigorating my love for learning.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Mastering the agile versus traditional project management concept. In my organization, I manage many projects for my department. So I’ve found it very impactful to pivot and reiterate at quick intervals by employing agile project management strategies.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education? The end of the 2018 calendar year coincided with my academic year coming to a close with a heavy exams and projects due. At the same time, I was actively working with two small groups to develop internal projects for my OBGYN department. And, this coincided with a typical, end-of year surge in surgical volume. Compounding this was end-of-year and holiday school activities for my children, which included the likes of engaging in holiday programs and organizing gifts for teachers. To ramp up my focus and time-efficiency, I used a 2-3-page to-do list organized by personal, professional, and academic obligations. In this high acuity time, I developed more efficient ways of striking a balance between my personal, professional, and academic obligations. When I had downtime from schoolwork, for example, I transitioned without pause to an item from my personal list.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Pursue the MBA not for the title but because it’s reinforcing something you absolutely love to do. Otherwise, the journey won’t be worth the reward. Also, if you lack strong organizational skills, it’s critical to prepare yourself with a method to ensure you’re organized and productive through the pursuit in three key facets of your life: personal, professional and academic.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Timing – post-holidays/January – prevented me from participating in the international business-study abroad component of the program. I would have loved the opportunity to bond through an international experience with a subset of my cohort.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Gelencia Dennis. However, first, I want to express my admiration for the combination of the attributes and resilience of my classmates collectively, whom I had the privilege of working alongside. I’ve witnessed Individuals in my cohort endure with poise adversities from losing a parent or job to dealing with workplace or family crises and receiving a cancer diagnosis and initiating treatment just weeks into the EMBA program. In each case, the adversity has not interfered with academic performance or meeting responsibilities to the cohort. Gelencia has exemplified this while dealing with difficult personal and professional situations in the midst of her MBA pursuit. She’s handled these circumstances with a smile and positive outlook. She’s been inspiring, and yet it seems unlikely the rest of us in the cohort can fully appreciate what she’s going through.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…during my first career as a private practice physician, my group’s office manager announced during a meeting that we needed an increase in the number of patients because we weren’t profitable. My initial thought and suggestion were that we examine our profit-loss statement and explore other ways to increase profitability for the group while providing a high level of quality care for our patients. This situation made me appreciate business knowledge as a key to being an effective physician leader.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? It’s unchanged from what I wrote 20 years ago in my medical school application essay: “To leverage my experience to help rebuild an inner city hospital system enabling it to provide service to the community at a world-class level” – and to that end be a chief medical officer.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone who was always prepared to contribute, not afraid to challenge the status quo, and would stand by your side in the rain until the sunshine appeared.

What are the top two items on your bucket list? To complete my ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ – both natural and ancient — tours by visiting the Taj Mahal and Galapagos Islands and to increase the meaningful experiences I have with my husband and kids.

What made Janis such an invaluable addition to the class of 2019?

“Janis has been a standout executive in the program. Our program sets the bar quite high for executives and they are expected to demonstrate extraordinary aptitude and develop strong executive presence and emotional intelligence. Janis was a top performer in my class through all of these lenses. She is extraordinarily bright and demonstrates outstanding critical thinking skills. She interacts professionally with all of the executives in her cohort, as well as with faculty and staff. As a Certified Executive Coach, Janis has excellent executive presence and EQ. She demonstrates strong leadership skills and has earned deep respect from others. She is confident, empathetic, and brings out the best in those around her. Janis’ analytical and research abilities are quite evident to me from her deliverables, so I have seen this first-hand. Each of our cohorts of executives includes a highly diverse population and Janis interacts beautifully with everyone and has earned respect and admiration from fellow executives. I would also add that Janis is a highly skilled and accomplished Gynecologic Surgeon. She is a self-starter with strong project management skills, interacts beautifully with senior executives and leaders, is an MD and MBA, far exceeds the minimum years of experience for the position, has fantastic communication skills and has broad knowledge in the health care field.”

Gary Cohen

Clinical Professor of International Business

Global Trade and Supply Chain Management


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