Perspective is important when you’re cruising down the road on a 2004 BMW R1200C motorcycle. Things come at you much faster and you have to be more nimble than when you’re driving a car. But according to Physicians Insurance’s new Board Chair, Brian Wicks, MD, the ability to change your perspective is key to success in medicine and business.
“You have to train your brain to see things differently,” says Wicks. “Doing so helps you see the viewpoints of others more clearly, see how outsiders view an organization, and understand all the influences that impact a patient or a business.”
Exclusively insured with Physicians Insurance for his 22 years of delivering care to patients, Wicks is also president of The Doctors Clinic, in Silverdale, Washington. He went to Dartmouth College for his undergraduate studies and completed medical school and his residency training at State University of New York in Syracuse, NY, ending with a fellowship in hand surgery at Tufts University in Boston.
Wicks points out that the Physicians Insurance governance and leadership model is a great advantage. Having a physician-led board of directors ensures that the focus remains on the medicine, the policyholder, and risk management. But he sees parallels from his experience leading the Doctors Clinic, and knows that “having strong administrative and business leadership is crucial to success as well.” Says Wicks, “I’ve really come to respect the perspectives of each.”
Mary-Lou Misrahy, president and CEO of Physicians Insurance, notes that Dr. Wicks brings not just strong leadership to his role, but a keen sense of how to manage the evolution of the delivery system. “Alternative financing strategies are going to be important as the delivery model changes. Dr. Wicks and our entire Board are the right people to help us communicate the pros and cons to physicians and hospitals, and also be a resource to them as they take their businesses to the next stage.”
When asked about the future of health care and the role of Physicians Insurance, Wicks is invariably optimistic. “We have all the right elements in place to respond thoughtfully and foster good relationships between physicians, hospitals, and patients.” Those elements include a strong bottom line that benefits physicians when they need defense, and a five-year history of returning a $5 million annual dividend* to policyholders.
Although the BMW motorcycle was a second-best option for Wicks, who admits with a grin he’s not allowed to go flying, he still likes the speed and thrill of the ride. Perhaps, then, it’s his ability to see things from a different perspective that tells him Physicians Insurance is well positioned for what lies ahead.
*Future dividends are not guaranteed.