The Life of an MDO: Dr. Alissa Erogbogbo | OBHG

Every day, OBHG’s clinical and operational leadership teams support our hospitalists in their programs. The medical director of operations, regional vice president of operations, and director of hospital operations work to help ensure that programs run smoothly and facilitate hospitalists’ success.

Dr. Alissa Erogbogbo, medical director of operations for the region that includes Northern California and Nevada, has been with OBHG since 2015.

The medical director of operations focuses on clinical operations, including clinical leadership, hospital relationships, new program starts, clinical strategic leadership, and business development support. Our MDOs help ensure the clinical teams are delivering quality programs that achieve both OBHG’s and the hospital’s clinical and operational objectives.

What lessons has working in your current field taught you?

I’ve learned how to be creative and strategic when developing a solution for a potential problem. Also, communicating effectively and clarifying in communication while being compassionate to and understanding of my providers.

When I do my shifts, I am compassionate to my patients and give them my best when they interact with me or need to talk with me. To establish patient rapport quickly, I’ve learned how to read the room and quickly identify with the patient and their family. This allows me to communicate effectively, understand what their needs are, and how I can meet them.

What do you see on the horizon in the field of OB/GYN hospitalist medicine?

I think the field is changing because we are doing more obstetrical emergencies, and being available for the hospital and community providers to lend a helping hand and help them through a tough situation. It’s no longer the “doc in a box,” it’s the doctor who can put their finger on the pulse of what’s going on and come up with a strategy to solve it.

Hospitalists work collaboratively with the nurses and community providers while helping to answer questions—and if they can’t answer the questions, they know where to look for the answers. We’re not just taking care of patients and labor management; we’re helping to solve issues versus just waiting for a delivery. We are the champions for women’s health and we have the highest quality of care and safety standards.

What are important ways that you think you can support our clinicians on the ground?

Maintaining communication and transparency are essential with my site medical directors. It allows for feedback to flow in both directions: working together to review the day-to-day issues and developing solutions, and hopefully building trust and a good working relationship. I am also approachable, so they can initiate the difficult conversations with me.

What do you love the most about what you do?

I love the flexibility. The biggest joy is leaving the hospital and not going directly to the office to see 25 to 30 patients and answer emails. The flexibility and independence that comes with being an OB hospitalist gives you the opportunity to explore and tap into your creativity.

What is a challenge for you in your work?

The challenges we face in our arena of OB hospitalist medicine/MDO are balancing leadership and medicine. I want to build relationships with our clinicians to empower them to be their best and encourage active participation in the organization, along with the hospitals they staff. I want to help our clinicians attain the next level, whether it’s in leadership, participating in hospital initiatives, policy writing, or other areas. I want us to be a driving force and the champions in our field of medicine.

Please tell us about your background.

I grew up in Detroit with my mom, stepdad, and brother, along with a very supportive extended family. It was never a question of whether I was going to college, it was where—and then what else I was going to do after college. I was pretty good at math and once I got into high school, I opted to pursue engineering. I did multiple summer engineering internships as a high school student. I knew I wanted to attend engineering school, so when I was accepted to a dual degree program, engineering undergrad and medical school at the same time, my fate was set.

I started out as a chemical engineer in undergrad and worked for two years in validation and process engineering while I figured out if I wanted to attend medical school. Once I started on my path of attending medical school, I then had to decide what field of medicine would be best suited for me. When I did my rotation at the former Cook County Hospital in Chicago, I decided there was nothing better than surgery or OB and I went on to residency at Summa Health System in Akron, Ohio. 

I’ve been married to my husband, Boladale, for more than 20 years. I have a 13-year-old son, Boladale (whose name means “all thoughts about blessings”), 10-year-old son, Moyosola (“all thoughts about God and his blessing”), and 3-year-old daughter, Shayosola (“God bless me with joy”). Our last name, Erogbogbo, means “all thoughts about money.”

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I love to read historical fiction and non-fiction, going to see SCARY movies, and yoga. I also enjoy spending as much time as I can with my family and hanging out with my kids during their afterschool activities like basketball and track. I take an annual spa vacation with my friend of more than 15 years, which helps me to recharge and decompress for a few days.

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