Georges-Pascal Haber, MD, PhD, Appointed Chair of Urology
In this Q&A, Georges-Pascal Haber, MD, PhD, discusses his leadership style, the role of research and plans for the future.
Georges-Pascal Haber, MD, PhD, is the newly appointed Chair of Urology in Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute, with responsibility for 10 specialty centers and more than 100 professional staff, urology residents and fellows. Here’s what he recently shared with us about his vision for the department moving forward.
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Dr. Haber: This kind of achievement doesn’t happen by accident. Our urology program was built by some of the world’s most celebrated innovators in urology. For decades, we’ve been able to attract and retain an exceptional group of physicians, residents, scientists, nurses and support staff, and we have established a culture of excellence that we will continue to build upon. We must seek out and then develop the very best talent and provide staff members with the tools, work environment, flexibility, and professional opportunities to excel.
Dr. Haber: I am humbled and truly honored to lead a department of this caliber. There is much to learn as I assume this role and expand my organizational and institutional knowledge in a leadership position. We have an outstanding group of caregivers and their success and well-being are very important to me, personally. Seeing the department in a new light, from surgeon to Chair, is exciting and challenging every day.
Dr. Haber: To serve our diverse patient community, our team must also be diverse. I truly believe that diversity will bring fresh perspectives to our department, make us more creative, and allow us to better navigate future healthcare challenges. At the same time, we need to sustain a safe and enjoyable work environment for everyone, with a zero tolerance for bias of any kind as well as specialty training for unconscious bias. Having trained abroad and immigrated to the United States, I know first-hand what it means to be different in a new place. I also know the wonderful feeling of joining the Cleveland Clinic, being made to feel welcome, and making it my home. I endeavor to give that same experience to others as they pursue their urological careers and training at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Haber: I’m here to set the vision for the department and remove barriers so that every staff member can be successful so that we can provide the very best possible care to patients in a collaborative fashion. I believe in the mission that has inspired the leaders of Cleveland Clinic since our founding in 1921 – “Better care of the sick, investigation into their problems and further education of those who serve.” Education and patient care are primary focus areas. Our patient-centered model allows us to optimize access, increase efficiencies and ensure every member of every team is practicing at the top of his or her license to optimize the patient experience. We have great people, and I view my role as creating an enriching environment to foster growth and excellence.
Dr. Haber: We have four priorities: the patient, the caregiver, the organization and the community. First and foremost, is providing consistent, high-quality care to all our patients. By focusing on patients, we will continually improve outcomes. Secondly, we are concerned about providing an exceptional environment for our caregivers. We need to make sure our caregivers are engaged and able to work across generations, genders, and cultures. Thirdly, we must be diligent about our environment and processes. And fourth, we must improve the health of our communities by providing comprehensive urologic care, from screening and prevention to cutting edge treatment and care.
Dr. Haber: Research is one of the pillars of our mission and essential to creating the future of medical practice. It’s imperative that we focus today on genetics, genomics, artificial intelligence, precision medicine, data, engineering, and new treatment options for the benefit of generations to come. In our department, we have the opportunity to combine research and clinical expertise to bring excellence to our patients. Every research idea has the opportunity to impact and potentially change how healthcare will look in the future and to transform lives on a global scale.
Dr. Haber: It is our privilege to train the next generation of leaders in the field of urology and therefore we take great pride in our residency program. We must remain steadfast in our efforts to attract and engage the highest-caliber talent. I’d like to see more mentoring for self-directed learning. I’d also like to create more opportunities to incorporate robotic surgery and other technology into our work and learning. To serve our residents well, we must continue to tip the scale toward a more education-based residency and less of a service-based residency. We must foster and encourage more scientific thinking and collaboration.
Dr. Haber: We have to embrace technology and continuously disrupt the field of urology. It’s a very exciting time. In the immediate future, we are moving towards the use of fully automated robotics, more minimally invasive procedures, and distance health, such as virtual visits and monitoring patients at home. We’re using predictive analytics and artificial intelligence in our decision making – which translates to better care, broader access and greater convenience for patients. We are not going to predict what the future looks like; we’re going to create it.