During his 30-year tenure at AdventHealth in Central Florida, Neil Finkler, M.D., has left an immeasurable imprint on the organization, starting his career founding AdventHealth Orlando’s gynecologic oncology program and fellowship program and ending it as the hospital system’s chief clinical officer. As he prepares to retire, he reflects on his three decades with AdventHealth during this Becker’s Healthcare Podcast.
“I’m really proud of my dedication to involving research into clinical care,” said Finkler. “How we move the needle forward, especially in oncology, is to do studies, make discoveries and publish the research to improve the medical community. I also believe it’s our responsibility to train the clinicians who will take care of the next generation, so adding the gynecologic oncology fellowship program was a step forward for the hospital system.”
Coming from major academic medical centers such as Boston University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York where the vast majority of the practicing physicians were academically based, transitioning to Central Florida in the mid-1990s was a transition for Finkler.
During his tenure at AdventHealth, Finkler has watched a dramatic morph from a private practice model to what Finkler refers to as a “priva-demic” model, where there is now a combination of employed practitioners and private practice physicians, in addition to a robust graduate medical education (GME) department including an array of residency and fellowship programs.
“It’s the best of both worlds because you have high functioning, high producing clinicians alongside those pursuing academics, whether it be teaching medicine to the next generation or advancing the field through research, innovation and creative ideas,” he said.
He also credits the pandemic for accelerating advancements in the healthcare industry.
“Pre-COVID, medicine evolved very slowly, and it would take us years to change what we did and what was considered the best practice,” said Finkler. “The pandemic forced all of us in medicine to take chances because we couldn’t wait – we had to innovate because the information evolved at a rate I’ve never seen before, and it required us to act just as quickly.”
Finkler thinks the silver lining to COVID is the ability to be nimble and adjust when necessary. In fact, he and his colleague published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine outlining five lessons learned during the Delta surge.
Finkler also takes a moment to reflect on the future of medicine and clinical care in the podcast.
“I think there's lots of challenges ahead, but I think the beautiful thing is that that we've got a group of young, talented people in health care today and they will figure out how we move forward in medicine,” he said. “I'm really quite hopeful for the future and confident that they will be able to do this and bring health care to where we need it to be.”
To listen to the full Becker’s Healthcare podcast and learn more about Finkler’s hopes for clinicians in the future, click here.