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Healthcare Administrator Encourages Others To Find Professional Mentors

Dr. Marilyn Benoit is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Devereux 's SVP and Chief Clinical and Medical Officer. Devereux, located in Villanova, Pa., is the nation's largest non-profit behavioral healthcare provider. Devereux partners with schools, families and communities, offering special care for individuals with unique needs to achieve a fulfilling life.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Marilyn Benoit)

Can you describe your duties as a health care admin?

"In my role as a Senior Vice President of Clinical & Professional Affairs, I have the responsibility of overseeing and monitoring the quality processes across the organization. My department sets the standards, and we evaluate how well those standards are met. Our National Medical Advisory Committee reviews and sets our medical policies. Our department sets "best practices" for the treatment of the clients in our care. It is very important that we integrate our work with all departments within the organization."

How has education prepared you for your career in healthcare administration?

"I developed an interest in administration mid-career because I was promoted into such a role. Medical school does not prepare one for such administrative functioning. Because I felt I needed more knowledge and skills, I matriculated into graduate business school with a focus on health administration. I completed that on a part-time basis while I worked full-time as the vice chairman of an academic department of psychiatry. This has been a crucial part of my professional development. Because I was in Washington D.C., I was able to have access to the White House, the Secretary of Health & Human Services, the Drug Czar and congressional committees. I also completed a fellowship with the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank in Washington, D.C. These experiences, along with the formal graduate education prepared me for this role."

What continuing education is required for your role?

"There is no specific continuing education that is required for my administrative work, but I am a committed lifelong learner, and I pursue new information in the field via webinars, journal articles, conferences and meetings. I am required to maintain a minimum number of continuing medical education credits in order to maintain my medical license."

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

"Get a mentor! Be very observant and pick leaders who are effective and seek them out for mentorship. Be wary of people who strike you as being egomaniacs. Align yourself with superiors who have your best interest at heart—that they are focused on your development and not on their status."

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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