All posts by asfmaverx

MaveRx – Prescription for Revolutionary Leadership

Success in any industry is rooted in learned knowledge and acquired skills. Reaching beyond professional achievement to become an acknowledged and respected leader was once an ineffable passage, difficult to describe, seemingly impossible to teach others.

Leaders are, by nature, mavericks, in thought, word and deed. MaveRx leaders are bold, innovative thinkers, credible resources and relevant trendsetters in an ever-changing universe. MaveRx has the prescription for revolutionary leadership resulting in the development of influential, persuasive, inspirational leaders.

Leaders are made, not born. With its distinctive approach, MaveRx develops extraordinary leaders by encouraging individuals to take risks, to look and act beyond the obvious and, eventually, reap rewards. MaveRx concentrates on leadership essentials divided into three practical steps: networking and formalization of mentors; establishment of credibility; and the acknowledgement of both individual and team successes.

Smart leaders recognize the importance of building relationships as key to making new connections and developing productive opportunities. Networking requires the courage to begin a conversation with colleagues and mentors. Asking questions about background, interests and goals is an easy way to initiate dialogue. Follow-up communication is essential and made easier with the electronic exchange of contact information. Sharing of ideas and expertise leads to project completion and enduring relationships. Honest feedback shared by mentors ensures continued growth and development and should always be accepted with an open mind and heart, along with genuine appreciation.

Leadership skills cannot be learned by reading a book or attending a lecture. Rather, they are developed by living the leadership experience optimized through the guidance and support of formalized mentors. Mentors aid in identification of best-suited opportunities to establish credibility, while ensuring development of leadership skills and assist when unexpected situations arise. Both appointed and elected positions offer the platform to develop required skills that can vary from agenda formation and leading a conference call to overall project management.

Acknowledgement of individual and team successes is the final step in becoming an acknowledged and respected leader. Mentors support developing young leaders and their teams through nominations for awards and grants that acknowledge hard work and contributions. However, writing a letter worthy of the accomplishments, while addressing the purpose of the award, is time consuming and often limits the number of nominations a mentor is willing to invest.

TeamMaveRx feels strongly that the best person to tell the story is the person and team for whom the acknowledgement is being written. Offering a draft nomination letter along with the request to be nominated is the most effective way to ensure acknowledgement of both individual and team successes. Utilizing a mentor’s CV, biography and past nomination letters can serve as a template in the development of individual documents by providing the framework for well written supporting documents.

Do it now. Be a MaveRx! Step outside your comfort zone and establish meaningful relationships. Develop leadership skills working with individuals you respect, then acknowledge and celebrate successes!

-Angela Siler Fisher, MD, FACEP

Comprehensive Mentoring

By Laura Medford-Davis, MD

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars®

University of Pennsylvania Department of Emergency Medicine


Today’s careers are dynamic. True leaders strive to create their ideal job, but they may find that it does not yet exist. Because of the unique values, priorities, and goals of each individual, it is rare that one mentor will be a perfect match for the experience and tools an aspiring leader seeks.

In addition mentors, like all people, are busy. They may be mentoring multiple people, and may not always have time to give one person their undivided attention due to competing responsibilities–personal, professional, and mentoring.

Besides traditional mentors who are already leaders in my field, I frequently ask my family for advice. One person who I consider a mentor is a peer at my level, but one with similar goals who inspires and challenges me. I encourage you to step outside the box and start looking for nontraditional mentors of your own.

This is a good article on more comprehensive mentoring that might be a good link/resource for MaveRx.


The Elevator Speech – No Second Chances To Make A First Impression

by Jake Valentine, MS-3

As an aspiring emergency medicine physician, I was awestruck to have had the privilege of meeting Dr. Steven Stack at the most recent Texas Medical Association meeting in Austin. Dr. Steven Stack is the first emergency physician to serve as President of the American Medical Association. I gave him my best firm handshake and proclaimed “Hi Dr. Stack, I’m Jake. Pleasure to meet you”. He returned the pleasantry and swiftly moved on to chat with other more familiar faces who were now forming a circle around this emergency medicine rockstar.

That’s it. That’s the end of the story. Pretty lame, right?

Agreed.  “I am so lame” is the same feeling I had later that day when talking to my mentor Dr. Angela Siler Fisher. I told her I’d met Dr. Stack and her face lit up; “WOW! That is so cool! I can’t believe you networked with the president of the AMA. Way to embrace my leadership advice – tell me all about your conversation.”

Me: “Umm… I just said hello and then we shook hands”

Fisher: “You’re telling me you had the chance to network with the leader of the most powerful physician association in the world and you wimped out!?”

I hadn’t thought of it that way. In fact, I hadn’t thought of it as a networking experience at all. I was so intimidated that I hadn’t even recognized that this was a missed opportunity to make a valuable career connection.

How often do we pass by on networking opportunities because ‘the setting wasn’t right’, or the person we wanted to make contact with didn’t offer to exchange information? How many times have you walked past someone in the hallway, wanting to say “hey-im-a-superawesome-upandcomingmedstudent-lookingforamentor” but all that comes out is “hi” and a head nod?

This is why the ‘elevator speech’ is so important- there are no second chances to make a great first impression. Each MaveRx meeting starts out with everyone introducing him/herself and practicing their 20 second introduction. “Hi, my name is Jake Valentine, I’m a 3rd year student at BCM going into emergency medicine. I am director of operations for the Texas Two Step – the largest ever medical student run CPR initiative. We’ve trained over 4,000 people with the help of 600 volunteers. I’m also interested in medical education and simulation. Let me give you my contact info – I’d love to connect and work with you.”

What makes a great elevator speech? Look closely at the example. It answers, in sequence, “who are you”, “why are you talking to me”, and “why should I talk to you”. Most importantly, it puts you in the driver’s seat for establishing a follow-up correspondence. When you offer your contact information, you are inviting the other person to participate in the contact exchange and you avoid the classically awkward “can I have your number?” dynamic that evokes painful memories of rejection from your high-school crush.

Last piece of advice on exchanging contact information: have a shareable contact card in your phone. Make it easy for your connections to remember who you are and how to contact you. Your contact card should have your photo, phone number, personal/permanent email address, and school email address. You should be able to share this contact with a simple command (once you add yourself as a contact, click on your name. If you have an iPhone, it will be under “share contact”, but a similar feature is available on Android devices as well). A simple follow-up message along the lines of “Hey (name), it was great meeting you at (event/location). Looking forward to learning more about (project, program, profession, etc)” works well.

Now practice your elevator speech, make that contact card, and start networking like a Pro!


Making the Change: Transition to Clinical Rotations with Ease

by Shehni Nadeem and Faroukh Mehkri

Finally!  Most medical students rejoice at the end of basic sciences and welcome clinical rotations as a much needed change of pace.  This is an exciting time to contribute to patients, families, and medical teams.  It is also a time when the amount to learn, see, and do can seem overwhelming.

Setting yourself up for success

There are two parts to this: short-term success and long-term success.  To set yourself up for a positive medical student rotation, understand your role on the team from the start of the rotation.  Review any handouts provided by the clerkship director.  Ask the residents and attending what their expectations are of you. This gives you tangible goals to work towards.

For long-term success, arrive 20 minutes early daily.  Make that a habit.  Coming in early will allow you to anticipate needs of the team and to prepare yourself for the ever changing needs of your patient.  You will appear proactive and mature, fantastic characteristics for you to carry into your career as a physician.

Read a little each day

Your academic performance during clinical rotations is vital.  Not only does it influence your ability to land the residency of your dreams, but it has a direct impact on your ability to contribute to patient care.  Find an interesting patient or one that really challenged you, and read about that patient’s condition.  Make a plan on how to tackle your review books.  Try to read a relevant journal article each week.  Do practice questions to better apply the concepts.  Then, ask informed questions to learn even more!

Ask for feedback

Ask the team how they think you are progressing towards the goals outlined for you at the start of the clerkship.  Try to elicit direction on what you do well and how to improve.  Schedule times to ask for feedback at the midpoint and end of the clerkships.  In the case of shift work, ask for feedback towards the end of the shift.  Make the most of this experience even if you do not plan to pursue the field long-term; it may be the last time you have the chance to learn from the expert!

Keep snacks on hand

Medicine is unpredictable, and sometimes there is no clearly defined lunch break.  Get in the habit of having a lunch available on busier clerkships whether you pack one or pick one up before the day begins.  Keep a few healthy snacks to keep you energized, as days (and sometimes nights) can stretch long!

Strike a balance

Rotations are demanding both mentally and physically.  You will have non-traditional hours in many settings which can wear on your interpersonal relationships as well as your overall well-being.  Make it a point to schedule time with friends and family.  Try to find time to exercise or stick with that hobby you love.  Most of all, make lasting friendships with your fellow students.  Clinical rotations are a time of incredible bonding and camaraderie over unique, shared experiences.

“Life is 10% what happens to you, 90% how to react to it” – Swindoll


Two step 1

College students, medical students, residents, fellows and physicians all joined forces to train more than 4,253 Texans in hands-only CPR on February 6, 2016. The Texas Two-Step CPR: How to Save a Life Campaign was a free statewide event held in Amarillo, Austin, College Station, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Galveston, Houston, Lubbock, and San Antonio taught participants how to save a life by taking two steps:
1) Call 911,
2) Begin hands-­only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the center of the chest

two step 2

This cause was so special because heart disease is the top cause of death in Texans, with four out of five cardiac arrests occurring at home. CPR saves lives, but most people are unprepared to help when a loved one, friend, or colleague needs CPR. The collaboration of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians, Texas Medical Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, HealthCorps, and MaveRx recognized the need to train more Texans in lifesaving, hand-only CPR.

More than 650 medical students representing all nine Texas medical schools taught the Texas Two Step at 49 multiple sites within the ten cities.
Please read testimonials below highlighting our event. We hope that this is the start of a new Texas tradition and look forward to collaborative volunteer projects in the future!

“It was remarkable to see months of work culminate in the successful training of over four thousand Texans! As a CPR instructor, I was thrilled to be a part of this statewide experience. It was an absolute joy teaching my fellow classmates and Houstonians this life-saving practice, and it was an honor to be able to teach one of Texas’s House representatives an invaluable skill.”

I wanted to share a quick story from Saturday about a gentleman at the mall who was so thankful we were out teaching people CPR…He explained to me that his father suffered a MI at home and passed away and that no one at his house knew what to do in the situation. He said they called the doctors instead of 911 and didn’t even think about CPR because “hands-only” wasn’t around back then. I’m so glad I got to be apart of this whole process the past 6 months and can’t wait to make it even bigger next year! –Tony Balda, MS, UNT Health Science Center

I really enjoyed helping out at the Texas 2 Step and being able to teach CPR to such an enthusiastic group of people (at the Health Museum). Such an easy-to-perform intervention has a huge impact on patient outcome/survival, and many more people now have ability to step in and perform life-saving CPR! — Erin Aufderheide, MD, Emergency Medicine Resident, Baylor College of Medicine

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Texas Two Step event and oversee CPR training. This was an amazing event to educate our community. I feel confident that anyone trained could help a bystander in need in the future…they could save a life! –Jessica Best, MD, International Emergency Medicine Fellow, Houston, TX

The Two Step was a great event in that it brought together all parts of the medical field, from office staff to attendings, RN’s to paramedics, med students to firefighters, as teachers to empower our community to save lives with hands-only CPR. Just think how many out of hospital arrests will survive if we can continue to teach our communities this basic skill. I’m so proud of our TCEP medical students for creating this amazing event! –Doug Jeffrey, MD, FACEP, Austin, TX

This community project helped us live leadership at every level. It is so nice to see the future leaders in the House of Medicine engaged, helping save lives in their communities. –Angela Siler Fisher, MD.




Shehni Nadeem, MS4
Baylor College of Medicine


Sara Andrabi, MD
Emergency Medicine Chief Resident
Baylor College of Medicine


Angela Siler Fisher, MD, FACEP
Founder MaveRx


MaveRx. Prescription for Revolutionary Leadership.


Great things happen at the nexus of what we enjoy doing, what we are good at doing, and what is worth doing. Many years ago I set out to become the very best emergency physician to provide the very best emergency care to the acutely ill and injured. I also discovered my nexusmaking leaders.


Medical knowledge and clinical skills are required of all physicians. There is never a substitute for medical knowledge. Reading and studying ensures physicians know what they are looking for in order to find it. This is especially true in emergency medicine. One must know the symptoms of an acute heart attack to be able to diagnose the patient. And equally important is managing the emergency diagnosis once it has been identified. This requires a mastery of clinical skills whether it involves intubating a vomiting patient during a code or placing a chest tube in a patient with a collapsed lung.


Leadership, the foundation of professional achievement, is much more difficult to describe and seemingly impossible to teach. Although all the teachers were intelligent, hard-working individuals committed to helping others, I quickly realized during training that there was a vast difference amongst the physicians. More importantly it was “this difference” that I either gravitated towards or sought desperately to avoid when working clinical shifts. It was this difference that inspired me to learn more and work harder. This difference, leadership, would eventually inspire me to step beyond the clinical setting, taking on responsibilities that would optimize care by improving systems of care. It was the difference that I wanted to understand and quantify. It was leadership that I would need to be able to teach to ensure my success as a leader.


Leadership is ill-defined making it difficult to learn and even more difficult to teach. I quickly set out to collect data from those I felt embodied the emergency physician leader I wanted to become and found that they could not quantify this quality. Instead I found myself with a list of real world tips that were essentials of all leaders. Furthermore, many of the tips could only be achieved through practice. It was these learned essentials that made the physician leaders whom I gravitated towards stand out from their colleagues and these essentials that needed to be shared with aspiring leaders thus the creation of MaveRx.


Leaders are, by nature, mavericks, in thought, word and deed. It is this type of leader that MaveRx seeks to develop by encouraging individuals to step outside their comfort zone and take risks. It is only through a series of calculated risks does one learn to lead, as leadership can not be learned by studying a book or watching a lecture presentation. Leadership is learned by living it. Leaders are made, they are not born.


MaveRx shares objective leadership essentials which can be divided into three easy to implement steps- networking and formalization of mentors, establishment of credibility and the acknowledgement of both individual and team successes.


MaveRx embodies proven leadership through the many leaders that have already benefited from its teachings and practices. MaveRx leaders are bold, innovative thinkers, credible resources and relevant trendsetters in an ever-changing universe