Dr. Michael Basco is a physician with more than twenty years of experience in both a clinical and pharmaceutical setting. Dr. Basco grew up in East Los Angeles and was the first in his family to attend college. After serving in the Marine Corp, he majored in biology at the University of Southern California. He worked for many years as a clinical provider. Dr. Basco then took the opportunity to use his knowledge to reach more people by joining the pharmaceutical industry.
After completing school, Dr. Basco and his wife moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area where he completed his residency at Parkland Hospital. They raised three children while he was in practice. After their third child was in college, his wife was offered a position at the National Institute for Health in Washington, DC. It was during this time that Dr. Basco stopped clinical practice and moved into his work with the pharmaceutical companies.
He found his work within this industry more rewarding and found great success. Once trials reach a certain point, however, there is no longer a need for the physicians to stay on the team. With his portion of the research completed, Dr. Basco and his wife have recently returned to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where he is enjoying a little free time while looking for his next opportunity. He is currently looking to continue his career within the field where he found the most fulfillment.
Why did you choose to become a doctor?
My family was not wealthy when I was a child. I spent a lot of time in clinics for my healthcare. I was inspired by my pediatrician. He worked such long hours, but always had a great temperament. I was young, but I saw and understood what an impact he was having and I knew that I had to do the same. I had to help others and be that person who made a difference for them. I found fulfillment in clinical practice, but found even more, when I moved into the pharmaceutical side. It has allowed me more opportunities to help others than I imagined.
What area do you specialize in?
I completed my residency and received training in obstetrics and gynecology, but I also have experience in emergency medicine. I did additional training in electronic medical records and coding, as well as pharmaceutical economics. I have always tried to expand my knowledge, especially in the areas that are crucial to the overall better patient experience.
What is your daily routine?
My wife and I have recently moved back to the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I have been looking to get back into the pharmaceutical arena. Right now, I am spending some time looking into openings and putting in applications in that field. I have been doing some of the things I didn’t have as much time for when I was still working. I have been fishing and doing home maintenance. I enjoy having a full day, so I am happy to work on my honey-do list.
What do you love about your job?
What I loved the most about working with a pharmaceutical company is that you are providing health to patients and help to providers. The research is just so necessary. In that position, I found a lot more enjoyment than as a direct clinical provider. People know that you are trying to find new options for patient care, so everyone is happy to see you. When I was in practice, I always got along well with my patients, but had some difficulty with insurance companies. There is so much you have to do in order to get your patient cared for under their coverage. There were times when I knew what was needed, but we had to follow their protocol. It could be frustrating and I definitely don’t miss that. I slept better after I moved into the pharmaceutical field. I get to be helpful now.
What would you consider to be the greatest accomplishment in your career?
One of the things I helped with was developing an intervention to help reduce preterm deliveries. I developed the program nationally for Cigna for a drug that helped moms with a history or preterm labor keep the baby longer. It cost less for patients and insurance companies, so everyone benefited from that. After I was able to get that program our and recognized, other carriers followed suit so even more people got coverage where there had been any before. That was an awesome moment for me.
Another accomplishment I am proud of happened when Hurricane Katrina hit. At that time, I was the Cigna Medical Director. Before the hurricane came in, I moved all of my critical patients out of the path of the storm. After the storm had passed, myself and three other doctors went down to Baton Rouge and set up a field medical hospital. We had nurses and funding from local churches. We were there before FEMA even was.
Tell our readers about some of your volunteer activities.
I have provided healthcare at some church-run clinics for people without insurance. I have also run a federal clinic that would subsidize and provide care for people who had no resources. I have traveled several times with Doctors Without Borders to areas that were in need of physicians. Those experiences were humbling and rewarding for me.
What do you do in order to mentally separate yourself from your job?
I love to fish. I make time to do that whenever I can because it’s such a relaxing hobby. I spend time with my wife and my family. My wife and I have been married for forty years. She was my high school sweetheart and has also been extraordinarily successful in her field. My family has always provided me that grounding that is needed at the end of a work day.