MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- For Marla Koroly, Chief Medical Officer at Northern Westchester Hospital, overseeing the more than 700 physicians who practice at NWH is no simple task. However, medicine and healthcare have always made her feel most at home.
"I decided to be a doctor when I was in my junior year of high school," said Koroly. "Prior to that, I had concerns that the years of school and training would prevent me from having a family. One night my best friend’s mother convinced me I was capable of doing both and at that very moment, my decision was made."
Thanks to a special program available for accelerated students in New York City, Koroly was able to finish 7th and 8th grade in one year and fast track her education. Combined with her October birthday, this allowed her to enroll as a Freshman at the University of Pennsylvania when she was only 16. "It was a scary thought, but I somehow survived," she said.
During her further training at New York University Medical Center, she met two of her greatest mentors, Dr. Mack Lipkin and Dr. Mitchell Charap. "Dr. Lipkin taught us how to relate to patients in a way that builds trust," said Koroly. "We practiced open-ended questions and true active listening. Those skills stay with you. Dr. Charap had a more subtle way of listening and relating to patients. What was most impressive was his skill in remaining up to date with medical evidence and his ability to apply his knowledge of science and medicine in the most practical, reasonable way to patient care."
Today, Koroly makes every effort to surround herself with similarly inspiring figures. When helping manage the daily operations of one of the area's largest health service providers, she feels the support of colleagues and friends.
As healthcare changes and new practices evolve both at Northern Westchester Hospital and beyond, Koroly sees the field ultimately transforming for the better. "I'm inspired that our country has finally begun to focus on quality and rewarding the right care while discouraging unnecessary care."