Contrary to popular belief, the tech sector is not the largest employer in San Francisco. Instead, it was the healthcare industry, employing 121,000 people and pumping $28 billion into the local economy. Yet, one segment of healthcare that is expected to grow significantly is health care information technology. Chuck Tuchinda, M.D. is the president of one such Bay Area company, First Databank, the leading provider of clinical drug knowledge that helps improve medication-related decisions and patient outcomes.

What is your background and education?

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“As a young child, I developed a deep interest in technology and business. During college and medical school, I created a ‘side’ businesses to generate spending money. These explorations, ranging from hosting events for profit, graphic design, and software development, gave me first-hand experience with product design, customer satisfaction, cash management, and strategy.”

“I earned a biomedical engineering degree from Harvard, a medical doctorate from Johns Hopkins, and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School. I completed internship and residency training at Johns Hopkins Hospital and am board certified in internal medicine.”

Can you briefly talk about your career thus far?

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“My desire to build something drove me to pursue a career beyond clinical practice that blends my interest in technology with the fulfillment of healing and helping people. In addition to my experience with early stage venture capital, I’ve held leadership roles in product management, corporate strategy, investments, acquisitions, and innovation at both public and private companies. Today, I serve as president of First Databank, where I leverage my clinical and technical background to develop products that improve health outcomes and reduce overall health cost.”

What career advice can you offer to students interested in a career in health care?

“In healthcare, ‘track records’ matter for both businesses and individuals. One’s credibility and ability to do business is often constrained by recommendations from ‘known entities.’ My advice: follow-through and create a record of success. Health care’s complexity contributes to a lack of transparency and misaligned incentives… Innovate and improve the care system through simplification – not automation. Although many people can deliver incremental value, take a moment to lead and inspire people to act toward the betterment of humankind – people will follow a good vision and find fulfillment.”

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Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on