CCSF Biotech 2 Brunch Coordinator Marlene Walker with UC-SF's Carol Massey and SEMLink's Tokiwa Smith at Biotech Brunch
Carol Massey decided not to complete her pre-medicine studies at UC-Santa Barbara, but has spent more than three decades in health care. She went to Howard University in Washington, D.C. to get an M.B.A. with a specialization in health care administration.
Speaking at the Biotech Brunch at southeast campus of City College of San Francisco on Saturday, Oct. 16, Massey discussed her career as evidence of the diversity of occupations in health care.
Brunch included catfish, fried chicken, yams, red beans and rice and macaroni salad from Auntie April’s, 4618 Third St., recently featured on KQED’s Check Please.
Along the way to her current position as chief administrative officer of emergency medicine for UC-San Francisco, the Bakersfield native’s been deputy director of mental health for Kern County and director of women’s health programs for the State of Georgia.
Her current responsibilities included administering the first emergency medicine department at UC-SF, which includes 37 full-time physicians, 50 part-time and volunteer physicians, 20 staff, and 100 residents and interns who staff both San Francisco General and Moffett Hospitals.
“It’s the newest department in the school of medicine and working with doctors is not always easy, but I give them a pass because everyday they’ve saved somebody’s life,” said Massey. “It’s very dynamic and very exciting.”
”If something happened to a visiting dignitary, they would bring them here,” said Massey. ”We get the best of the best interns and residents because of our reputation.”
Part of her responsibility is insuring that the doctors maintain their required professional development and certifications, while doing research and handling patients. A patient’s stay in the emergency rooms is for a limited time, must be less than 24 hours before being discharged or moving on to other services within the hospital.
She gave tips on finding jobs in health care from the perspective of both a job seeker and an employer. “I’m hiring for a manager position right now and I’ve looked at 150 resumes, but only a few have demonstrated experience aligned with the specifications in the job announcement,” Massey noted.
“I have a hospital resume, a public policy resume, and a private business resume because each area is seeking different skill sets,” quipped the Howard alumnae. “ It is important to pay attention to the job description and emphasize the things that the employer is looking for,” said Massey.
However, students may have the opportunity to gain access to the jobs just by being helpful to the faculty. Massey noted that five undergrad students work with some of her doctors, doing Internet searches and other tasks, in answer to a San Francisco State student’s query about qualifications.
“There is always something that they need to do that they don’t have time to do,” said the chief administrative officer. “Don’t take yourself out of the running. Be assertive, look up their profiles on the web page and send them an e-mail expressing your interest”
She also advised that learning should be a constant endeavor. Although she already has securities and insurance licenses in addition to the M.B.A., she recently passed her real estate licensing exam.
Between UC-SF and San Francisco General, two new hospitals are under construction, with completion dates in the next five years. Massey is part of a human resources task force at the university, looking at its future staffing needs. ”My education was paid for completely; my parents couldn’t afford to send me to college, so I have a life-long commitment to give back.”
Biotech Brunches are a satellite event of the USA Science and Engineering Fair, which will culminate with two days of exhibits on the National Mall Oct. 23 and 24.