Alumni Spotlight: Hospitalist Director Drives Change Through Leadership Roles

When Maher Madhoun, MD ’03 first describes his responsibilities at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut, where he’s spent the majority of his career, he says he “wears many hats.” He’s not exaggerating.

In the past two years alone, Dr. Madhoun has established a pre-operative optimization program, developed inpatient rotations for an affiliated physician assistant program, and led Stamford’s transition to a new hospital facility. 

He was hired as an infectious disease specialist in 2008, but it wasn’t long before he’d taken on several more roles—including Assistant Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, Hospitalist Director, and Medical Director of the Intermediate Care Unit. In addition, Dr. Madhoun is an Assistant Clinical Professor at several area medical schools, and is involved in a myriad of hospital committees. 

It may sound overwhelming, but Dr. Madhoun has always been drawn to the interdisciplinary aspect of medicine. He first discovered an affinity for internal medicine during his clinical rotations at Ealing Hospital in London. What he found particularly appealing about the field—and his ultimate subspecialty, infectious disease—was the fact that he wouldn’t be shoehorned into just one type of patient group or practice.

“I fell in love with the breadth and depth of internal medicine,” Dr. Madhoun said. “I chose to specialize in infectious disease, not only because I found the microbiology fascinating, but also because infectious disease encompasses multiple specialties—OB/GYN, psychiatry, surgery, etc.”

Improving the Patient Experience

While managing the day-to-day operations of the hospitalist department and leading its growth, Dr. Maher Madhoun takes pride in continually enhancing the department’s workflow and finding new ways to do things better. 

Upon finding variation in how local primary care doctors were clearing patients for elective surgeries, Dr. Madhoun led the creation of a pre-surgical optimization program to help standardize patient evaluation and reduce the day-of surgery cancellation rate. Today, elective orthopedic surgery patients are all evaluated by staff hospitalists, and the day-of cancellation rate has dropped from 5-7% to less than 1%. 

For students or residents that aspire to leadership positions, Dr. Madhoun recommends making your aspirations—and your qualifications—known to others in the hospital. 

“Work hard, show enthusiasm, and let your supervisors know that you’re interested in growing your responsibilities. I also think earning a master’s in a field such as public health, medical management, or health administration is helpful,” said Dr. Madhoun, who is currently pursuing his Master of Medical Management through Carnegie Mellon University. “It’s mandatory for certain positions, but it also shows that you’re curious about healthcare policy and economics.”

He’s grateful to have the opportunity to mentor residents through his roles at Stamford, and encourages students not to limit themselves.  

“AUC graduates have a tremendous amount of opportunities open to them,” he said. “Going to AUC was one of the best decisions I’ve made—not only from a medical knowledge perspective, but also living on the island, studying in the U.K. and being able to experience different cultures.”