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Profiles in Leadership: Top 25 Minority Executives


Technology’s a great tool, but AT&T’s Geeta Nayyar says it’s still all about the patient-physician relationship

By | August 13th, 2012 | Blog | 1 Comment


Geeta Nayyar: “If you really want to have the impact in healthcare delivery that we are all talking about all of the time, it has to be done with doctors and patients.”


One in a series of profiles of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare (sponsored by Furst Group)


She’s the chief medical information officer for one of the largest firms in the world, but AT&T’s Geeta Nayyar, M.D, MBA, wants you to know that it’s not about the technology.


“It’s about people, and finding out how to make their lives better.”


At 33, she’s one of the youngest honorees of Modern Healthcare’s Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare awards program, but she’s been at this medicine thing a long time – she got into medical school at age 17.


“Both of my parents are physicians,” she explained. “I always was, and still am, a geeky science person, really fascinated by biology. But at the same time, I was always a very social person. So, clinical medicine just made sense because it was a joining of the best of both worlds.”


Her current role doesn’t call for it, but Nayyar made sure her employer would allow her to keep that aspect as an active part of her life.


“AT&T has been very supportive, and I am still on faculty at George Washington University in the department of rheumatology,” she says. “I still see patients. It’s only part-time, but I really enjoy it. And as much as healthcare keeps changing, it really is a valuable asset in my role.”


Nayyar says she sees technology as just another tool for physicians, like a stethoscope. She says her students at George Washington agree.


“The doctors that I teach now, in medical school and residency, can’t live without their tablets and smartphones – so why would they practice without them?” she says. “It is becoming so much more intuitive to use them. So if it helps you practice better medicine, why wouldn’t you?”


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