The Life of PRMS: Donna Vanderpool

The Life of PRMS: Donna Vanderpool, Vice President, Risk Management

When I had accomplished everything that I had wanted to at my prior position managing a busy surgical practice, I was leisurely exploring what new opportunities were out there. I found an ad for a job that sounded interesting, but not actually for me because it was very close to the DC line in Virginia, and I will do anything to avoid DC. (Did you know that there can be two exact same street addresses in different quadrants of DC? I learned that lesson the hard way!) Since I hadn’t interviewed in a while, I decided to use this as a practice interview. About five minutes in I realized, to my dismay, that I had to have this job! I love to educate, and that was a big part of what the job required. Whether one-on-one with psychiatrists who call our helpline, doing talks for groups of psychiatrists, writing articles, or educating our colleagues in the office on new psychiatric treatments, educating others has continued to be a huge part of why I have enjoyed my time at PRMS so much.

I had taken the subway to the interview (that’s a whole different story – up a huge hill to the office, only to find the public bathrooms were locked, so no freshening up before the interview!), and am very unfamiliar with locations near DC. Later, as I was literally crying to my best friend – because I wanted the job, but I cannot do DC – she reminded me that I had managed to travel to the same area each day for law school, so I would be able to do the commute again for this dream job. And since being hired, I have managed to do so!

The best thing about working at PRMS is the people I am lucky enough to work with each day. Everyone here is great and very professional, but for me I have to thank my former manager and mentor, Jackie Melonas (who had the audacity to retire!). She put together quite the team of risk managers, including my colleague and AVP, Dave Cash. I’m extremely grateful for Dave’s significant contributions, along with those of the other risk managers Ann and Justin, to the clinical risk management expertise that we are continuously developing and sharing with psychiatrists.

Seventeen years later, why do I call this the best job in the world? Because of the opportunities I have to educate and help our psychiatrists practice good medicine, which increases patient safety, and decreases professional liability risk – and may even allow a few psychiatrists to sleep better at night!

I’m now sharing my risk management thoughts and reflections via LinkedIn (and have actually done close to 100 posts!) that can be read here.

Categories: PRMS Blog, Life of PRMS

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