Link: University of Iowa

Information About


Alumni Interview

John Toussaint, M.D.

Portrait

82MD

What is your hometown?

Appleton, WI

How/when did you become interested in science and medicine?

As a teenager, I was interested in biological science.  My father was a hospital administrator (graduate of the U of I Healthcare Administration School) and I spent a lot of time at the hospital, which was very interesting to me.

What interested you to pursue a career in medicine and medical education?

I enjoyed studying the science of medicine and I wanted a profession that I could make a big impact on people’s lives.

Please highlight your major career achievements, awards, discoveries, etc.?

I practiced medicine with emphasis on endocrinology for 17 years.  I have been in many leadership positions in my career.

Is there a teacher, mentor or Carver College of Medicine faculty member who has helped shape your education?

John Fieselmann – a great teacher and mentor.

How or why did you choose the UI for your education and medical training?

Because of its quality, U of I was the only place that interested me.

What kind of professional opportunities or advantages has your UI medical training provided?

The U of I has a wonderful reputation throughout the nation.  My skills were never questioned having graduated from the U of I

Please describe your professional interests?

Presently I am doing a lot of work on quality improvement.  Our organization of 5,300 employees is on a journey of continuous improvement. We are learning from Toyota how to create defect free care for our patients using the ThedaCare Improvement System.

What are some of your outside interests?

I enjoy fly-fishing, playing trumpet (I played in the medical school jazz band), and spending time with our family at our cabin in Northern Wisconsin.

Do you have an insight or philosophy that guides you in your professional work?

My philosophy is to improve something everyday.  Our industry is stuck on compliance, not improvement.  We are changing that at ThedaCare.

If you could change one thing about the practice or business of medicine, what would it be?

Stop the shame and blame and start working together as a team to improve the care we deliver.

What is the biggest change you've experienced in medicine since you were a student?

Understanding that doctors and administrators must work together to provide great care.

What one piece of advice you would give to today's medical students?

Learn how to be a team player and respect everyone on the team.  Frankly, you are only as good as the nurse taking care of the patients at 3 a.m.

What do you see as "the future" of medicine?

It is bright, but it will be about improvement not apprenticeship.  Go spend a day at Toyota and you will see the future of healthcare.

Contact

Medicine Alumni Society
medicine-alumni@uiowa.edu
Phone: 319-335-8886
Toll Free: 877-MEDIOWA
Fax: 319-384-1746