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Physician NonClinical Careers with John Jurica

Jul 3, 2019

This week on the Physician NonClinical Careers podcast, John delves deep into the world of healthcare design with his guest Dr. Manuel (Manny) Hernandez. Manny discusses his lifelong desire to be a physician, taking us through his amazing, diverse career.

He is an internationally-recognized physician, designer and healthcare innovation strategist. Since early 2018, he has been Principal, Strategic Innovation/Co-Practice Leader - Healthcare Team at Kahler Slater, a global, award-winning architecture, interior design and environmental branding firm.

He was honored by Healthcare Design Magazine in 2017, as one of their ten most influential people advancing healthcare design. He received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh, his MBA from UC Irvine, and his master’s in Strategic Design and Management from the Parsons School of Design. He’s also a Certified Physician Executive.

Manny completed his emergency medicine residency at Temple University Hospital, and continues to practice and teach emergency medicine in addition to his work in healthcare design.

We learn how he left clinical practice to become a leading expert in the intersection of healthcare and architecture. It’s a fantastic story that touches on a variety of options available to physicians wanting to transition out of clinical practice. 

Dr. Hernandez has constantly sought to diversify his skill set, starting with an undergrad degree in rhetoric and communication while fulfilling his pre-med requirements.  Later, advice from a mentor, Dr. David Nash, cemented his determination to be a leader in healthcare.

Reflecting on his career and the choice to leave clinical practice that facilitated it, Dr. Hernandez recognizes how difficult it was initially. “That was a very emotionally traumatic decision for me… in many ways I felt like a failure. I felt like I had turned my back on medicine.”

manuel hernandez

But through his experiences in the creative world of design, Dr. Hernandez has learned to embrace his so-called failures as lessons, and has expanded his vision of how nonclinical physicians can contribute to healthcare. “What I’m doing now is actually what I’d set out to do… to change healthcare on a system level.”

You can acces the show notes, links to resources, and a transcript of today's episode by going to