Student Name: Franklin Chiao
Describe Yourself In 15 Words: I am a multi-dimensional, innovative, transformative, creative, resourceful healthcare mover and shaker.
Hometown: Westchester County, New York.
Fun Fact About Yourself: I started acting professionally as a child and have acted in The King and I in theater, and most recently an HBO drama series. I was also selected for the Screen Actors Guild.
Undergraduate School and Major: Brown University, Economics.
Current Employer and Job Title: Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Medical Director, Chief of Pediatric Anesthesiology.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have provided anesthesia care in almost every setting possible: inpatient, ambulatory surgery centers, and physician offices. In each setting, I have been requested regularly by patients to provide their anesthesia care. This led to my partnership with surgeons in New York City to provide anesthesia for children with only regional anesthesia. At the time, I was the only one doing this and patients came from as far away as Boston and Philadelphia to receive this advanced type of anesthesia. It was an honor to collaborate with staff and lead the city into an innovative and safer anesthetic paradigm. Furthermore, I have been invited to give education lectures nationally on anesthesia topics at places such as Columbia University and Harvard Medical School.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as a graduate student: As someone with a theater background, I firmly believe in the power of video in combination with traditional multimedia as an educational and presentation platform. During the program, I have produced several impactful videos as part of presentations for my classmates and professors.
What led you to pursue an EMBA at this point in your career? The dual-degree program with a unique emphasis on healthcare offered me the opportunity to strengthen my existing expertise in medical administration while broadening my horizons to see other parts of healthcare. On a personal note, my grandfather came to America in the 1920’s to attend Harvard Business School and was one of the first MBA graduates from Asia. He returned to Asia and started an investment company and this showed me the impact of the MBA degree.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The reputation of the program and success of graduates along with a large alumni network were significant reasons to go to Cornell. The uniqueness and excellence of the dual-degree program at Cornell stands out. In addition, as a lifelong New Yorker and father of young children, the proximity of the Cornell EMBA program meant a lot less travel, which was especially helpful during the Covid pandemic.
What is the top item on your career bucket list? I feel that American healthcare has a lot of progress to make in the areas of efficiency and equity. As a growing leader in healthcare, tackling these issues on a local and regional level through clinical and administrative leadership are pressing goals of mine. Whether the best way for me to make an impact is through entrepreneurship or working at a big organization, I am looking forward to the adventure and helping the American people improve their health issues.
How did your classmates enhance the value of your business school experience? I have a very diverse group of classmates in terms of work experience and cultural background. The coursework is significant at times and the abundance of knowledge that teammates share makes the learning that much greater. To top it off, a regular group of us go out after class to have fun in Manhattan.
Who was your favorite faculty member and how did this person enrich your learning? This was a tough question as I had several, but one course stood out: Healthcare Innovation and Transformation taught by Geraldine McGinty. It was an incredibly engaging course format, and Professor McGinty came to meet us for happy hour one evening. She had invited some high-level guest speakers as well, one of whom started a life-sciences company.
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s EMBA program? If you are someone reticent about group meetings and team projects, this program may not be for you. There is a lot of group work outside of the classroom and the happiest students really utilize this time for learning and networking.
What was your best memory from your EMBA program? The summer weeklong residential session in Ithaca at the Cornell campus was an amazing experience. It was a beautiful time of year there with sightseeing, outdoor retreats, and class activities that we all really loved. We also reunited with a lot of the professors we had in the first year and learned more about them on a more personal level.
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