Hospital President reflects on his deep CU Denver connections

Hospital President reflects on his deep CU Denver connections

From earning his MD from the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine to completing his Executive MBA in Health Administration at the CU Denver Business School, Brian Davidson is proud to reflect on his journey at CU Denver.

Brian is currently the President of St. Mary’s Medical Center, a 350-bed tertiary regional referral hospital, located in Grand Junction. He’s only in his 40s, but Brian has always known that while he wanted to help patients, another part of him wanted to do more.

Only five percent of the nation’s hospital executive leaders are physicians – Brian is one of them. With both medical and business education, he can give physicians a voice when business decisions are being made.

The beginning of his CU Denver journey 

Brian is a Colorado native from Wheatridge, CO. He was a chemistry major and a pre-med student at the University of Northern Colorado for his undergraduate degree. A turning point for Brian was when he became the student body vice president for academic affairs.

This is when Brian met Hank Brown, former president of UNC and the former president of the University of Colorado system. Hank advised him to take his career into healthcare leadership as a physician. With this in back of his mind, Brian attended medical school at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine.

Brian completed his general surgery internship at St. Joseph’s hospital and came back to CU to finish his anesthesiology residency. During his residency, he expressed interest in the business of healthcare and operations and was sent to Stanford University for a clinical rotation. There, Brian made a connection with someone who had an MBA in the business of perioperative services – the business of the operating room.

This inspired Brian to meet with Errol Biggs, senior instructor of health administration, to find out more about the Executive MBA in Health Administration program. Errol told Brian that if he decided to remain in Colorado, the network Brian would build would be worth gold. “That was completely true,” said Brian, “Even in my role today I maintain great relationships with graduates from the University of Colorado.”

After finishing his residency, Brian enrolled in the CU Denver Business School. “I remember sitting in class on the first day of the MBA program, after finishing 12 years of school to be an anesthesiologist,” said Brian. “I was excited to learn about the world of healthcare business and challenge myself to something new.”

“I was excited to learn about the world of healthcare business and challenge myself to something new.” – Brian Davidson

Simultaneously, Brian was also starting his administrative fellowship centered on perioperative services at the University of Colorado’s Hospital. Brian constructed his own fellowship, becoming the first administrative fellow on the Anschutz campus to be a physician, since most fellows in hospitals are MBA or MHA graduates.

Brian was able to apply what he learned in his Executive MBA courses directly to his fellowship. “I would spend time on my fellowship days at the hospital going to finance and accounting meetings. So, I took what I learned at the CU Denver Business School and applied it often the next day to the Anschutz medical campus. It was immediate application.”

“I took what I learned at the CU Denver Business School and applied it often the next day to the Anschutz medical campus. It was immediate application.”- Brian Davidson

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