July 1999

Leonard Katz

by Stephanie TABER

 

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As if a career as an eminent gastroenterologist, a university professor and an administrator of one of the area’s leading health maintenance organizations wasn’t enough, DR. LEONARD KATZ launched an entirely new career at age 62 ... entirely new, yes, but made possible for him by many years of study, teaching and experience in his chosen specialty.

“There were major changes occurring in the HMO field,” Dr. Katz said. “This seemed like the right time to consider a personal change. I wasn’t ready to retire and so I started thinking about other things I could do.

One day the phone rang. It was an executive of Merck & Company. They were looking for a qualified physician to become Regional Medical Director for New York State.

The work would support HMOs and medical groups in their health care improvement and disease management efforts. The more she talked about the position, the more I realized this was just what I was looking for.”

Computers are becoming essential to high quality medicine. HMO’s and medical groups have the sophisticated computer systems and trained people to program and operate them.

“My experience as an educator and HMO administrator suggested that this was right up my alley.” Dr. Katz said.

Leonard Katz has been at it for eleven months now...working with medical groups, HMO’s, medical educators, physician leaders, etc. - discussing Merck’s organized systems approach to chronic diseases and their prevention.

Obviously he’s happy in his new career. Yes, it’s apparent Dr. Katz learned that, at the age many are thinking about retirement, staying active keeps one forever young.

 

Stephanie Taber is a freelance writer.

 

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