Christine Griger, MD, MBA
President & CEO
Sutter Medical Group
Dr. Chris Griger decided she wanted to be a doctor when she was 10 years old. Having such a concrete goal provided a clear path and made decisions easy. She worked hard in high school to get into a good college, where she worked hard to get into a good medical school (at the age of 18!), where she worked hard to secure a good residency. Finally after years of sacrifice and perseverance, she achieved her goal and became a pediatrician. Dr. Griger shared “Up until that point, there had always been a ‘next’. For the first time, there was no ‘next’. It was an adjustment but I adapted. I threw myself into building my practice, raising my son and trying out a leadership role in my physician group.”
And then the physician’s group restructured, and the changing ownership and roles prompted her to re-assess her goals for the first time since she was 10 years old. She wondered “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” and that is when the George Harrison verse spoke to her. She started asking “What do I want to be? to do? to avoid?” She determined it was time once again to consciously choose her path. As Dr. Griger advises, “You can just live your life without goals and maybe it works out, but if you want to ensure you can one day look back and feel good about what you’ve achieved, you’d better figure out what you want.” After some soul-searching, she realized she wanted a role where she could contribute not only as an individual practitioner but as a group leader navigating federal health reform and economic challenges to deliver superior, personalized health care to many patients. Today Dr. Griger is President and CEO of Sutter Medical Group, a multi-specialty medical group of 700 clinicians serving more than a half-million patients across Northern California.
Dr. Griger learned what so many women tell us in our research, that it is critical to know yourself, to consciously choose your direction based on who you are and to re-evaluate your priorities as you move through your life stages. Many of us learn this later in life when some event prompts self-reflection, but there’s no reason to wait. Make time now to consciously choose your path.