Richard Katz always knew that he wanted to be a physician. Having come from a family of compassionate, committed and caring professionals, some of his kin have worked as pharmacists, dentists and in teaching careers. The desire to help people by making a positive difference in their lives has always been deeply rooted within him.

(Photo Courtesy of Richard Katz)

(Photo Courtesy of Richard Katz)

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Katz graduated from Washington University with a degree in biology and received his medical degree from Northwestern University. He also has a Master of Business Administration degree from Johns Hopkins University. Katz did his residency at the University of Chicago and the University of California, San Diego. His fellowship was in pediatric gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco. He has been a practicing physician for 30 years now and has been on the full-time faculty at Johns Hopkins for the past 20 years. Katz has been Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital for almost 12 years.

What are the responsibilities of your current role? 

“As CMO, I am ultimately responsible for the medical decision-making processes and safety issues of the hospital. Naturally I share this important duty with many others, in all disciplines, throughout the hospital. I see my role as trying to have the entire staff see themselves as partners in the care of some of the most complex ill children, and to be collaborative with each other and the patients’ families.”

What is your favorite part about your daily duties?

“I love walking around the building and seeing the children receive treatment in the therapy areas and in the patient units. Getting to walk around and talk with everyone is fun, but it is a very important part of my responsibilities.”

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How has your education and training prepared you for your current role?

“Many years after completing my training I went to business school and was in the first graduating class of Johns Hopkins M.B.A. program. Seeing medicine from the business side awakened me to the ongoing healthcare financial crisis.”

What do you do to continue your education and special training?

“As a physician, continuing education is required. I attend conferences, read journals and this fall Mt. Washington is hosting its first truly national conference. The topic is ‘Feeding Disorders in Young Children,’ an area of expertise of mine, and I hope to learn as much as we teach during this conference.”

Do you have any advice for others looking to enter this field?

“Taking care of people’s health is an amazing opportunity, but it is a demanding occupation. One has to be prepared to sacrifice time and energy and, these days, a lot of money to become a doctor. It is less and less likely that one can become a rich doctor financially, but the riches one gets are personal satisfaction and healthier patients.”

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Laura Catherine Hermoza has a lifelong love for writing. In addition to serving as a contributor to various media publications, she is also a published novelist of several books and works as a proofreader/editor. LC resides in Baltimore County.