Healthcare Professionals on Boards — In Conversation with Steven Maurice Clark MD, FACS

2 min readJul 11, 2022
Image from Unsplash by Pawel Chu

When speaking of diversity on boards, we usually refer to social diversity — gender, race/ethnicity, and age diversity. One important form of diversity on boards is still often overlooked — professional diversity. Individuals from different industries have distinct methods of approaching problems and may surprise you with the range of solutions they can come up with. A ‘professionally diverse’ board would elevate different voices, integrate contrasting insights, and welcome conversations about diversity and inclusion.

We are in conversation with Steven Maurice Clark — a senior bariatric, laparoscopic, and robotic surgeon. A recently elected member of the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership Board, Steven offers his insights on the importance of health care professionals, surgeons in particular, on boards.

You bring so much to a board — problem-solving, public health knowledge, medical health care, and so on. How do you plan to apply your skills to a board?

“It is said that how you do one thing is how you do everything. This notion seems simplistic in nature but is so accurate. Most things I do in life are guided by how I approach surgery and health care in general. When performing surgery, I rely on my knowledge, dexterity, patience, judgment, humility, and past experiences. In this sense, surgery is a good metaphor for when serving on a board. Surgery requires acute focus on one body part, whilst simultaneously ensuring that the entire body is healthy. Serving on a board is no different — a focus on solving a particular problem, or evolving a certain strategy, whilst ensuring focus on the overall growth or health of the organization.

“Another metaphor I often use in life is that of compound interest. This can be looked at as learning “on the go”. I think each board is unique, has different needs, the organizational goals vary, and the strategies and values differ. Adapting to boards is important and that learning process is no different from compound interest. However, no matter the board, my biggest contribution will be my problem-solving skills. As a health care professional, it is engrained in me to diagnose a problem and then find a suitable solution. When serving on a board I would use this same approach.

“On a board the committee that I would fit best is governance. Governance entails duties like an oversight, planning, decision-making, and strategizing.”

Thank you for sharing, Steven.




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