Name: Maria Alma Rodriguez, MD
Title: Vice President, Medical Affairs
Company: The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Number of Employees: 20,000
Education: MD, University of Texas Medical School-Houston
What I’m Reading: Delivering High Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis (report) by the Institute of Medicine
My Philosophy: “Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do.” – John Wooden
Away from Work, I: Read mystery novels, attend art exhibits, play scrabble, try new restaurants, and meditate.
How My Heritage Values Fuel My Success: Major values of my heritage are placing priorities on family and friends, and respect for all persons. These values have helped me build positive relationships with people from all walks of life, including my patients, my peers, and staff at all levels of the organization.
How My Company Supports Me…and How I Pay it Forward: I have been supported by our institution’s program for women faculty, peer networks, and mentorship. I pay it forward by making myself available as a mentor to others.
The Best Career Advice I’ve Received and the Advice I Offer Others: Two valuable pieces of advice I received early in my career were: First, never compromise your core principles for the sake of advancement, because in the end you have to be able to live with yourself, not your advancement; and second, if a door of opportunity opens, and it is of interest to you, don’t be afraid to step through it, because it will likely lead to other opportunities.