by Sean Ruck
, Contributing Editor | August 11, 2017
From the August 2017 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine
Dr. Matthew Schreiber recently accepted the position of chief clinical officer at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. With Dr. Schreiber’s addition, the new C-suite team has been completed. He took some time to speak with HealthCare Business News about his background and goals in the new position.
HCB News: What inspired you to follow a path in health care?
My father was a pediatrician. When I went off to college I had one thought in my head: I will do anything other than be a doctor. My bedroom was above the garage door and I had the only phone on the upper level of our house. At 2 a.m. I’d hear the phone ring. I’d hear the garage door go up and the garage door go down. An hour later, the garage door would go up and then go down, back to bed. Thirty minutes after that, the phone rings and the entire thing plays out all over again. I studied international relations at Stanford which was half political science, half economics. Around the beginning of junior year, I realized that there are real disparities when it comes to access to high quality clinical care. I’m a lifetime learner. I love going to school. It was challenging and fulfilled my sense of social justice. I realized I could hit all those marks with this profession.
HCB News: You pursued your degree at the New York State Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv. What notable differences are there in health care in Israel and health care in the U.S.?
Anything we have in the U.S., they have and do in Israel. But with the proximity to Europe, it’s very much a European style. My program, for American students, was U.S. modeled. The Israeli program, however, was exactly like going to medical school in Europe. I got to see the best of both worlds. Although Israel has all the technology of the U.S., it wasn’t nearly as available. In order to use the technology, you had to use really good selection since technology was scarce. That meant you relied on your physical exam skills and knowing how to diagnose. It is definitely true that the act of laying on hands and getting a good history from patients, which does take time, is an amazing relationship builder. An added benefit [is that] the more precise you can be with what you need and why you need it, the better the cost management is.
HCB News: What attracted you to the position at Beth Israel Medical Center and away from your high-level role at Spectrum Health in West Michigan?
First and foremost, it’s a great job. Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey is part of the largest health care system in New Jersey, the RWJBarnabas Health system. Although we are part of a larger system, the entire senior leadership team at Newark Beth Israel is focused on providing high quality, safe care and an excellent patient experience to our patients and they have very high expectations of me and my scope of practice. It’s appealing in that regard. I’m very mission-motivated and everyone who works here is motivated as well. We engage with the community in unique and meaningful ways and are embedded and while every health system says that, you can really feel it here.