Chief Medical Officer of Rothman Healthcare Corporation

Rothman Healthcare Corporation

Sarasota, Florida


Hello, my name is Duncan Finlay.  I was a practicing pulmonologist for 24 years, served as a full-time Chief Medical Officer for three years and as President and CEO of a 800 bed  hospital for 5 years. I am now the Chief Medical Officer of Rothman Healthcare Corporation.


The whole purpose of our company is to help patients, and save lives; we do not ever want to lose sight of that vision. As the Chief Medical Officer, I see my role as being able to insure that our company is aware of the issues that confront the hospitals and caregivers at any given time. It is important that we  design our product in such a way that it is helpful to practioners and likewise meets the needs of hospital administrators.  To accomplish this it is important that I stay up to date on the issues facing both groups.  I am the liaison between the business part of our company and the needs of the healthcare practitioners who will be using our solution.  I am responsible for quality improvement for our company and that our products meet acceptable quality standards.  I also serve on our Advisory Board.


I was uniquely qualified by my experience as a practicing physician for 24 years, a Chief Medical Officer of a large institution, and as a CEO of a 800 bed hospital. As CEO of the hospital, I was approached by the founders of Rothman Healthcare and recognized the value of their solution. I believed that they could come up with a tool that would help future patients.  I retired in 2005 and joined Rothman Healthcare as CEO in 2008 in which position I served until we reached the next phase in the company’s development.  I have been the Chief Medical Officer for about 4 months now.

I witnessed and experienced the Electronic Health Record evolve from an early adoption period in 1997 to a totally paperless system today at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. While CEO of Sarasota Memorial, I recognized that value could be added by making meaningful use of all the data that sits in the EHR database.  The company ended up creating the Rothman Index, a single-score of patient health that provides a snapshot of a patient’s condition, allowing for easier hand-offs, earlier interventions and overall improvement in patient outcomes.  I believed that the Rothman Healthcare solution really epitomized meaningful use and that is why I was so enthusiastic about supporting it.


Since our company is currently a start-up, there really is no “typical” day-in-my-life. However, below is an example of how a particular day was spent this week.

My day began at 7 am with exercise and stretching followed by a period of review and response to company emails and browsing publications relevant to the industry; CMIO News  is one of my daily reads. I do this to keep myself up to date and follow-up on issues that may have an effect on the company.  From 8:30 to 2pm I was together with our Chief Science Officer and EVP of Development traveling to and meeting with a large hospital that was a potential development partner/customer for our product.  At 2:30 I met with the Physician Executive of a 90 physician group owned by the local hospital to plan an education program for his group.  At 3:30 I took part in our weekly group call of the company.  4:00 brought a meeting with the CEO, CNO and Chief Quality Officer for another local hospital.  At 6 pm I attended and answered questions at a group meeting of a separate Physician group.


I think someone in this particular role, CMO, should have been a practitioner in order to truly understand what the end-user needs. However, an administrative  background also helps me better understand the decision-making process within a hospital context. I think that balancing a clinical background with an administrative one creates a well-rounded candidate with unique insights that will prove valuable to any company that they may apply to.

I think in a general sense, you have to be able to understand and work with the needs of other people. We always work with other people, and being able to find ways to cooperate and create a positive, mutually-beneficially path forward is a huge plus.


The thing that keeps me going is a passion for the work I am doing. To me that is what is important in life, let alone work. You have to care about what you are working on, that is what motivated me as a clinician, as an administrator and now as CMO of Rothman Healthcare. To me that passion is helping patients. I really believe that the Rothman Index is a revolutionary change in the Healthcare IT industry and one that will ultimately help deliver better care to patients.

Duncan Finlay, MD


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