Health Services Administrator Profile – Amy Holcomb, BAMG, MBS, MBHC
Master’s in healthcare administration and business administration from Lansing, Michigan, 2006
Amy Holcomb might still be working in government if it weren’t for her back. After she herniated two discs, she was introduced to the world of medical tourism, wherein people travel abroad to find alternatives to medical procedures, and has avoided back surgery ever since. As a strategic healthcare manager of skyMedicus, a medical tourism office, she helps patients find their own treatment plans while managing a team of nurses and doctors.
Question: What drew you to healthcare administration?
Holcomb: "Originally I added healthcare to my education because I was managing my husband’s head injury case, as well as my son’s Tourette Syndrome and the doctors were not able to give me any answers of how to help them. I worked for the government until I herniated two of my discs and started looking for answers, as I had shooting pain down both of my legs. My local doctors told me that I needed to have one of my vertebrae removed, but I was only in my late 20s so for me this was not an option. I found the whole world of medical tourism and an alternative to having surgery. To date, I have never had surgery on my back. I have since worked helping other patients find resources and options for their conditions, figuring that if it was difficult for me to find options with all of my education then it must be next to impossible for most people that don’t have any idea of how to find resource options outside of their local community."
Question: What types of skills does your current job demand?
Holcomb: "For what I do, you must have a healthcare, nursing, or some type of medical professional education skills, as well as be good on the computer and be able to speak to patients in layman terms. Acquiring social skills to speak to patients and having the patience to help them understand the procedure is not a skill that everyone was born, regardless of education."
Question: What’s one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had in your career?
Holcomb: "I assisted a gentleman that had a double hip replacement surgery years after a car accident. He said it changed his life and now he has become someone that I still speak with. It is helping patients like this that supports my passion in what I do. Who can say that they have a job making a difference in others lives and really like what they do?"
Question: What advice do you have for people just starting their education or their professional career?
Holcomb: "Healthcare in general is a field that is in high demand, but it is not something that everyone is meant to do. You have to be patient, kind, humble, and passionate about what you do. You have to be OK with doing the dirty work if it will help someone else."