Getting to Yes, And

Dr. Adrienne Boissy: Healthcare, Tech and Empathy


Dr. Adrienne Boissy

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Kelly connects with the amazing Dr. Adrienne Boissy about her work for both The Cleveland Clinic and Qualtrics. She is always looking to lead with empathy.

You recently moved from a patient experience role at the Cleveland Clinic to Chief Medical Officer at Qualtrics, why the move? 

“Part of the fire in my belly is to reduce suffering and create joy in the world and in healthcare certainly. As a neurologist I try to do that with my patients and have been doing that for 20 years. In my most recent role as chief experience officer trying to operationalize that at a system level.  How can we integrate it into processes and systems that make the organization feel caring to the employees within it, as well as to the patients. I really wanted to see if we could leverage technology to more deeply understand, not simply what people say, but what they value. And to act on it, which you and I both know is the foundation of actual compassion.”

The shift from a hospital to a tech company seems like a pretty big change.

“It's been an absolutely wild ride. They move much faster than me. But on my first day, I had a colleague whose baby has cancer, I know that's near and dear to you. Previously, someone had counseled me, ‘you know we're a technology company, you know that empathy and healthcare stuff might be hard for you to make the transition.’ And on the very first day there's like 200 people on a Zoom meeting and everybody writes the name of this baby on their hand. And everybody's got their cameras on - this is a place where everybody puts their camera on. Kelly, you would have been so excited.  They all hold up to the camera their hand with the baby’s name written on it. I really exploded with joy. What a way to bring your heart to work, what a way to show up for each other. It was so simple and yet so compellingly heartbreakingly stunning on my first day.” 

You and I have talked about what it means to bring your authentic self to work, which also means you’re going to be bring your weird self to work. 

“I'm going to step into who I am and live both my work and my life in accordance with what I understand about my values and my joy pie. And that that's very freeing, actually, once you do that - it's not easy. I did feel weird at multiple points in my life. I still feel weird and awkward 
and it's how I choose to show up.” 

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