A Culture of Excellence

An interview with Dean Evans, President of St. Luke's Physician Group

What makes the culture at St. Luke's unique?

We try to be fair in everything we do by connecting with people on an individual level rather than treating them as part of a larger system. People really are the most important part of our organization. Even as we've gotten larger, we haven't forgotten that we're a community hospital. We complete employee, patient and physician satisfaction surveys on a frequent basis to make sure our vision aligns with our execution. When it doesn't, we work very hard to address those issues and create positive, long-lasting change.

What can you promise a physician who joins your organization?

Physician leadership allows us to place clinical excellence in the hands of our physicians, which gives them a great deal of autonomy to practice medicine. However, the support of our larger organization makes it easy for patients to access our services. Any physician who joins our organization will be surrounded by a great group of colleagues, a supportive culture, and the ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients.

What makes the greater community and the Lehigh Valley Region special?

Lehigh Valley offers the best of everything. If you're interested in what the city has to offer, we're a short drive from Philadelphia and New York City. However, if you're more inclined toward outdoor activities, we're just 20 minutes away from extensive options for skiing, hiking, cycling, swimming and boating. We also have several well-known universities, homegrown arts and amazing restaurants. Top-notch school districts make it a wonderful place to raise a family. My wife and I moved here from Philadelphia several years ago, and we thought we'd have to drive back a lot for the activities we enjoy. We've found that we don't have to. Everything is right here.

What advice would you offer residents who are considering their first jobs?

First of all, they should evaluate the chemistry they have with their current colleagues. If that chemistry seems to "click," then they'll work well with a partner who practices similarly. If it doesn't, they need to look for a better fit. Medical schools and residency programs do a great job of training clinicians, but they don't have a strong curriculum in terms of preparing them for the real world of practicing medicine. When looking for a job, residents need to find a clinical fit, but they also need to find an employer who is willing to educate them on the business side of medicine and what they need to do to be successful in practice. Second, it's incredibly important for physicians to consider their partner or spouse in the job search. When looking for a long-term fit, this should be a top priority.