Mayda Antun, MD, MBA, Chief Medical Officer at IMC Health
By Carolina Veira
Committed. Dr. Mayda Antun, Chief Medical Officer at IMC Health, is committed to giving her all and doing her best every day in every role. Describing her as 100% committed is an understatement in her case. She is more than that, she truly walks the walk. It makes sense that when asked to describe great teams, words like knowledge, work ethic, process-focused and passionate come to her mind. Mayda knows she is a perfectionist “to a fault” and works constantly on not letting that search for perfection get in the way of good. However, she is certain that “you will never achieve perfection, but if you aim for perfection, you will achieve excellence”.
Mayda was born and raised in Tampa, Florida by Cuban parents who emigrated to the U.S in 1947. Growing up, her role model was her dad, a voracious reader and a self-taught man who could solve complicated math exercises with the same easiness he could draft architectural plans. Mayda remembers her dad always telling her “I will not allow you to say I can’t, you have to say I’ll try”. Her dad instilled in her and her brothers a passion for reading and for giving their all, these qualities and her natural affinity for science led her to medical school. After her Internal Medicine residency and fellowship in Endocrinology in New York, Mayda moved to Miami to work at CAC Florida, one of the first managed care facilities granted a license to operate as a health maintenance organization (HMO) in Florida.
Dr. Antun began working at CAC as one of their primary care physicians handling both outpatient and inpatient work, later becoming Chief of the Hospitalists Group. At this point, her CEO and one of her most cherished mentors, Mr. Luis Lamela, noticed her commitment and sponsored her MBA at the University of Miami. At CAC she worked on both the administrative and clinical areas, later deciding to stay on the administration track only. When asked if she ever regretted sticking to administration only, she shared that it was hard in the beginning as she “missed the patient-doctor interaction and the instant gratification of seeing patients progress and get healthier”. However, she learned that through her administration work “she could impact a much larger population through facilitating services for them”.
Sitting across the desk from Dr. Antun, one notices her confidence and her level of preparedness, her kind smile, her sparkling eyes and her intrinsic need to share her knowledge with others. When asked what her family means to her, she does not shy away from saying “they are my everything, they are my reason for everything I do” and you can see it in her eyes as they fill up with joy and love for them. “I wanted my kids to be kind, noble, to be good people, to be productive, and they both are”. Mayda has four grandchildren, two of which are twins born in 2019, who brought along sleepless nights and all their firsts and whom she enjoys without losing a beat at IMC Health.
Rapid Fire Questions
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy anything related to the arts, performing, visual, theater, movies, art shows, and concerts. I also enjoy traveling. My favorite place to visit in the US is New York City. In Europe, I would say Rome is my favorite because of its history. It is amazing, learning about their culture, looking at all of the amazing structures like the Roman Coliseum and of course sampling their authentic foods, but mostly how it all got started and what it is today.
Seeing the natural beauty of different places to me is breathtaking. For example, Sedona Arizona, that is a beautiful place with the red rocks. To me, it is breathtaking.
What sets you apart from your peers?
I see the business perspective, not only the clinical side of the healthcare industry. That is why I chose to work in administration. Certainly what sets me apart from my peers is that I understand the doctors’ side of things. What it is like to have a patient sitting in front of you, listening to their concerns and taking care of their medical needs. In addition to that, having the business knowledge to making it all come together, balancing it all for a much better outcome.
What makes you a good leader?
I think my job as a leader is to facilitate things for people. My job is to move barriers out of the way so people can execute on plans and do their job.
What is your favorite book?
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. This book is wonderful. It’s all about strategy.
What is one of your favorite places in Miami?
Where do you think IMC’s great ideas come from?
They come from the people in the front lines. They are the ones who deal with the issues that arise, they come up with ideas and strategies on how to improve a particular issue. We then have to evaluate: Is it feasible? Is it repeatable? Is it scalable? Is it sustainable? Therefore, whatever change or innovation we are going to make has to be something that can be repeated and scaled across all of the centers, and that it is not so complicated that we cannot sustain it.
What do you feel most proud of?
What is the advice you would give to your 13-year-old self?
I wouldn’t say study harder, I wouldn’t say have more fun, because I think I had a great balance of good studying and having fun. I had great times with my family, and I had lots of friends. I would tell her to create better habits by eating better and having more faith.
How does faith meet science?
I have faith in God, I pray every day. I don’t think God determines every single thing, , but I do think there is a greater power. I believe in the Theory of Evolution and the various scientific theories there are, but something had to create that first spark, and that to me is God.
What do you think is imperative to share about Healthcare with our community?
Patients need to be in charge of their own healthcare. As much as we try, healthcare is fragmented, even with electronic medical records and health information exchange. Patients need to be in charge of their own care. Or they have to have an advocate who is in charge of their care, who has all the information about them.
Patients must become educated about their condition. The clinicians can only do so much, they can educate, give you a prescription, but they can’t pull you through the window, you have to help yourself. You have to meet them half-way.
That means not only showing up to your appointment, but also being prepared for it. Asking questions, knowing what all your medications are, knowing what the symptoms are if your conditions are worsening. Knowing when to go to the doctor and when to go to the emergency room.
Director of Finance & Brand Ambassador at IMC Health