Think You’ll Find Young Leaders Only in Business?

Students enrolled in the Central Michigan University College of Medicine are proving that physicians-to-be are on the leadership track, too, readying themselves for the management challenges they’ll face in delivering health care.


Christopher Khoury, Nicholas Cozzi, and Alexander Ghannam plan for an upcoming presentation on leadership in health care delivery

Christopher Khoury, Nicholas Cozzi, and Alexander Ghannam plan for an upcoming presentation on leadership in health care delivery

Physicians are increasingly assuming leadership roles in health care organizations, and, regardless of the setting of where they practice medicine, they need basic business and management skills.

Some of the most dynamic young leaders in the Great Lakes Bay Region can be found among the third-year students at Central Michigan University College of Medicine. Specifically, among these leaders are three students who are identifying opportunities for CMU’s medical students to interact with business leaders throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region and beyond.

The mission of students Nicholas Cozzi, Alexander Ghannam, and Christopher Khoury has been to expose future physicians to sound practices that can be integrated into any field of medicine. They pay special attention to helping their peers develop skills in leadership, negotiations, and financial competency, and toward inter-professional learning and gaining knowledge of current health care issues.

In spite of a rigorous academic schedule during their first year of four-year medical school, these students, with the help of others, accomplished the following:

  • Raised $35,000 to bring Lee Cockerell, former VP of operations for Disney World Resorts and author of the lessons in leadership book Creating Magic, to CMU. Cockerell delivered five presentations over two days, speaking to hundreds of health care professionals, students in the CMU College of Medicine and CMU College of Business, and 3,000 other interested parties.
  • Arranged for numerous luncheon speakers to address the subjects of health care leadership, emotional intelligence, telemedicine, the Affordable Care Act, and other topics in health care delivery.
  • Choreographed and presented two networking nights to enable the CMU medical students to engage with leaders from the Mount Pleasant community and Great Lakes Bay Region.

These activities would be significant accomplishments for any young professionals, but the fact they were achieved by full-time students in their first year of medical school is truly remarkable. That is a reflection on the leadership of George Kikano, MD, CMU College of Medicine’s dean, who seeks to position students to lead in delivering health care after they graduate and complete their residencies. Thanks to the efforts of student leaders and the support of faculty and staff, graduates of the CMU College of Medicine will have skills not taught in many other medical schools.

Photos By Doug Julian