Anouk switched from working as a medical doctor in a hospital to working as a consultant Business Operations. During the peak of the COVID-19 crisis in The Netherlands, she temporarily exchanged Deloitte for the hospital to work as a medical doctor again.
You studied medicine and worked as a doctor in the hospital before, how did you end up at Deloitte?
"After studying medicine in Nijmegen, I worked as an ANIOS (a doctor not in training to become a specialist) orthopedics for a year. I really enjoyed this, but I didn't know if I could get the most out of myself in this field. Next to my studies, I've always done many other things, like being a board member for a student union for a year, and I loved that variety. After a year at orthopedics, I started exploring other options and talked with a lot of different people. Through one of them I joined Deloitte. Although at that time I didn't necessarily know what it was what I was looking for, I knew what my interests and strengths are. During orientation and job interviews I seemed to make the best fit with Business Process Transformation. Now, after three and a half years, I still feel that this is the right place for me.
During these years I have always maintained my registration as a doctor by taking a training course and courses in addition to my work at Deloitte. As a result, I was able to help in the hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. I agreed with my team lead that we’d look at the situation every few weeks, because no one could predict the future. One thing that was always certain: that I'd be back within my team at Consulting."
How did it come about, you temporarily getting back to work as a doctor?
"When the COVID-19 virus started to spread in the Netherlands, I had just returned from my sabbatical, a period of six months volunteering as a medical doctor in Panama. Once I was back in the Netherlands I would get back to work on a client assignment, but the shortage of health care staff was increasing every day and the situation in regards to the coronavirus became more and more serious. I knew that I could help and it was hard that, at that moment, I wasn’t able to do that.
I wanted to actively do something to help, so I discussed this with my executives and my coach. At the same time, a request came to me from the hospital if I could help them out. Also, the client assignment I was about to start was postponed. So everything actually fell into place and a few days later I started my first day back in the hospital."
How did you experience temporarily trading the Business Operations team for a team of doctors and nurses?
"I worked at a regular ward for a few days to adjust a bit, but I soon noticed that I had neither forgotten the routines in the hospital nor my medical expertise. After the first few days I worked at the 'Covid ward', one of the wards created specifically for patients with, or suspected of, COVID-19. For the first few weeks, we worked in a large team because of the growing number of corona patients, later on I worked independently at this ward.
It was also an interesting challenge. In the medical field, because of course we did not yet know everything about the virus, the pathology and how the situation would develop. In addition, it was interesting to see how quickly such a system (including the ward, team, logistics etc.) needs to be built and how it transforms, and how quickly changes are implemented. The lines are suddenly much shorter than usual and everyone works closer together.
"My experience as a doctor can add the most value to clients within the care sector. I can help to bridge the gap between a doctor and a manager."
In my role within Business Process Transformation I focus on process analysis and optimization, redesigning processes and departments so that everyone works as efficiently as possible. You can imagine that from this perspective it was also incredibly valuable to gain this experience.
Although I have also done very cool assignments for various clients outside of health care, my passion lies within and around the ecosystem of health care. I have noticed that my experience as a doctor can add the most value to clients within the care sector. I can help to bridge the gap between a doctor and a manager. During this Corona period I once more experienced both sides of the spectrum, what makes this field very interesting. In the past period t I noticed that with everything going around the Corona virus, within as well as outside of the hospital, new and interesting challenges arose. So it started to itch to start working on that from within Deloitte again, like our vision on the Future of Health."
Anouk has a different profile than most other consultants as she graduated from medical school. She worked as a medical doctor for more than a year before joining Deloitte and is now combining her analytical skills and healthcare knowledge to solve complex operational issues at different clients in and outside the healthcare sector. In her spare time she travels the world and volunteers as a doctor both national and international.