American College of Physicians: Internal Medicine — Doctors for Adults ®


College Fellow is new leader of practice managers' association

From the February ACP Internist, copyright 2012 by the American College of Physicians

By Stacey Butterfield

Susan Turney, MD, FACP

Occupation: President and CEO of MGMA-ACMPE. [The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and American College of Medical Practice Executives (ACMPE) were separate entities that merged in October 2011.]

Susan Turney, MD, FACP

Susan Turney, MD, FACP

Current residence: I'm in transition. I've only been on the job for a couple of weeks and we're moving from Madison, Wis., to Denver.

Hometown: Mellen, Wis., a town of 900 people.

Family: A son, who is a lawyer, and a daughter in medical school and her husband, all in Chicago.


Medical school: University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Other education: Master of science degree in administrative medicine, University of Wisconsin.

Residency: General internal medicine, Marshfield Clinic, St. Joseph's Hospital, Marshfield, Wis.

Something I wish I'd learned in medical school: How to squeeze about 30 hours of work in a 24-hour day.


How I became an internist: I decided to be a doctor when my kindergarten teacher told me that I had to be a nurse, I couldn't be a doctor. For my residency I interviewed in many programs but the internal medicine program at Marshfield I ranked first. I just kept getting pulled back to Marshfield.

First job: Mangling (or pressing) sheets for hotels. I knew I didn't want to do that for forever.

Most rewarding aspect of your job: Talking to patients and being engaged with them. I'm still getting handwritten notes from some of my patients that I haven't seen in 10 years. They send me hand-crocheted Christmas ornaments and invite me to their family events.

Future goals: I want to do things that make a difference. At the end of the day, I want to say that patients have better outcomes as result of the work that we do.

Hardest medical lesson learned: We know the right thing to do, but there are things that we can't control and it can be frustrating.


Personal heroes: The people that take care of our patients on a day-to-day basis. Not just physicians, but all the health care team and the people that support them.

Pet peeves: I like to start meetings on time and I like to make sure that what happens in that meeting is important, not just meeting for meeting's sake.

Favorite ways to spend free time: Being outside walking with my husband and our four dogs.

Books on my nightstand: I pick up anything and read it. The Help was very interesting to me because of its historical nature and the strong women.

Most meaningful nonmedical accomplishment: I've been in a good marriage and I've got two great kids and they're both happy and successful.

Item I can't live without: I was going to say the bathtub. No one can find me there. But what I couldn't give up is being able to read and listening to music.

Most surprising thing about me: I'm a tap dancer.

Biggest regret: I don't look back. Though I've made mistakes, I embrace the moment and look forward.

If I weren't a physician, I would be: A professional singer in a rock band.


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