Our Stories

Finding Expertise Down the Block

Pediatric surgeon gets the education med school didn’t provide.

Lyndy Wilcox
Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology and Associate Director of Informatics and Process Improvement, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Director, Voice Clinic, Vanderbilt Voice Center

Vanderbilt Master of Management in Health Care 2022

As a first-generation college graduate and a doctor, Lyndy Wilcox is proud of what she has accomplished in her career. A pediatric otolaryngologist, she became a specialist in airway surgery after a fellowship at school she describes as the best in the country in that clinical area. Then, in 2018, she took a position on the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Even with her impressive credentials and professional achievements—she has also been lead author on more than a dozen articles in medical journals—Dr. Wilcox in some ways felt less prepared than she wanted to be. “Physicians are now increasingly involved in administration, including clinical operations, patient experience, hospital leadership, and management over other providers and staff,” she says. “Unfortunately, medical education has not kept up with this changing landscape. Practice management and the business aspects of medicine are woefully lacking from medical education. I experienced this firsthand as I advanced through my training and began my career in academic medicine.”

Fortunately for Dr. Wilcox, the expertise she sought was literally down the block, thanks to the MMHC program at Vanderbilt. Maintaining her daily job responsibilities while completing the degree, she admits, has been a challenge—but one that she is proud of successfully undertaking. “There’s a lot to manage from a time standpoint,” she says. “But the staff and professors have made it very doable, and they work really hard to make it work for you. It has also helped to have a great group to work with for my capstone project. They’ve been phenomenal, and that makes all the difference.”

Since joining the program, Dr. Wilcox received a promotion to an operational role within her department. “I recognize now that the business of medicine affects every part of how we practice as physicians,” she says. “The MMHC is allowing me to better communicate with administrators, understand the language and mindset of the business of medicine, and gain additional perspective in how I think about healthcare delivery.”

Fun Fact: A dog lover and volunteer at rescue organizations, Lyndy and has a Lab named Yeti and a Golden Retriever named Vesper with her husband.

Practice management and the business aspects of medicine are woefully lacking from medical education. I experienced this firsthand.