Successful People: Five Ways I’ve Enhanced My Career

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Michael Madison, MBA, RRT, has taken his career in respiratory care from the bedside to industry. He now serves as senior global product manager for acute care consumables at Vyaire Medical. Of course, anyone with a position like that would be called a success, but Madison has done much more.

Scott DabbeneMike Madison has enhanced his career with service to his professional organizations and more.

Here are just a few of the things you’ll see on his resume —

  • Past President and Life Member of the California Society for Respiratory Care
  • Chair of the AARC Position Statements and Issue Paper Committee
  • AARC PACT Member
  • Member of the California Thoracic Society
  • Member of the Society for Critical Care Medicine
  • Recipient of two U.S. Patents
  • Awarded a California Senate Resolution for Professional Service

Here are the top five ways Madison has enhanced his career in the profession —

Education: My journey into respiratory care was a bit different. After receiving a baccalaureate degree in Political Science and English, I had my sights set in a different direction. I took an OJT position as a respiratory tech in a local hospital as a temporary job. However, I soon discovered that respiratory care is a great profession. From there, it was on to a respiratory therapy program, followed by a master of business administration. Since then, I have always sought out interesting conferences and opportunities to learn the latest science and trends in respiratory care. Education is always a key to unlocking personal and professional potential. Participation as a strong contributing member of a multidisciplinary medical team is a must, and having a strong education and skillset has opened — and continues to open — many doors in my career. If there is one piece of career advice that I can share, it’s to never stop learning.

Advocacy: There are many forms of advocacy; patient advocacy, community quality of life advocacy, and of course, legislative advocacy. Each is a very valuable part of what we do as respiratory therapists and a great way to advance personal and professional careers. Through advocacy, I have met many interesting and knowledgeable people who have shared very valuable advice, guidance, and mentorship. Advocacy has been a source of experiences that have enriched my understanding of our profession and how we can positively impact our profession and the patients we care for. When you present your opinion and “asks” to a Congressman, Senator, or even a just candidate for office, you learn from the experience, and you help them learn who we are and what

we do. This broadens your view of our profession and how integral we are within health care and our way of life. It is an exceptionally rewarding experience, and it’s very empowering to know that you really can make a difference.

Professional Engagement: Becoming a member of the AARC as well as state affiliates and other professional associations was one of the best career decisions I have made. The opportunity to meet colleagues from around our nation, respiratory professionals from around the world, and global key opinion leaders has provided a depth and breadth of experience that has enabled me to grasp the science and value of respiratory care. Developing and bringing respiratory products to market and to the bedside is a great way to turn that knowledge and those collective experiences into tangible benefits for our patients and our profession. It has also been a very good way to give back to the profession that has given me so much. It is very gratifying to see new respiratory therapy graduates excited about our profession, knowing that they have an excellent professional career ahead of them.

Adaptability: Our world changes at a faster rate with each passing day. Having a strong education and experiences across a broad series of environments has been a major plus for me. The environments in which respiratory therapists work have seen huge changes over very short periods of time. Being able to quickly adapt in the face of change is a great advantage on a day-to-day basis as well as when adversity strikes. Health care management consultants, business reorganizations, changes in reimbursement, changes in government regulations, and many more factors add volatility to the environments in which we work and grow. Being flexible enough to embrace change and adapt to the new conditions has always led to a better situation and has strengthened my career in countless ways.

Networking: Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege to meet and exchange thoughts and ideas with many colleagues and friends. Professional and personal networking has in many ways been the glue that has helped me reach success in my career as well as provide a great network of friends. It has helped me greatly appreciate the thoughts, skills, and values that a person brings to the table. Respiratory care is a unique profession, with professionals that have broad experiences, backgrounds, and skillsets. Tapping into that fabric of our profession has been the source of great ideas, fun times, great friends, and continuing memories.

Take Mike’s advice and focus on one or more of these factors, and you, too, can enhance your career in respiratory care.