IASNM’s Chai with Scintillating Stars: Webcast Series #5 (Peter Webner)

Promoting the mission of exchanging ideas, knowledge, and technical expertise, our Vice President Ms. Chitra Saxena opened a brand-new episode of ‘Chai with scintillating stars’ by welcoming Mr. Peter Webner. Mr. Webner has held numerous important positions starting from the technical field and moving up to the CEO position and currently serving as a GM role in breast oncology at GE Healthcare. Speaking about his fascinating journey, Mr. Webner added that he has encountered the medical imaging field since childhood, getting treatment for certain heart disease. He was always fascinated with the radiation field, especially nuclear medicine, as it was a good combination of biology, radiology, and imaging. Working with the patients, he felt virtually everyone’s life was touched and impacted by the field.

Going back in time, Mr. Webner recollected how he wanted to finish his MBA degree, which he was roughly 3 courses away. There were financial challenges. But he continued grabbing knowledge from all the sources he could lay his hand on, via webinars, YouTube videos, and lectures. He advised taking every opportunity to educate oneself. “At the end of the day, it helps to build up your own personal brand. Medicine especially is the life journey of improvised technology. The key thing is to do things outside the comfort zone” he passionately added. Speaking about the mentorship of his life, Mr. Webner said he had multiple mentors, including coworkers and managers, who guided him to take his journey. He particularly mentioned Dr. Shankar Basu from Mount Sinai Hospital, who taught him radio-pharmacy, quality control, and backup computers back in 1980s. He recollects that his biggest jump was working with Dr. Shankar. Over 20 years, he learned from many people who were smarter than him. He also added that Dr. Deepak Behera, the IASNM Executive Board member, is helping him in his current venture.

Leading a company as CEO in this unprecedented times of COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Webner commented on the difficulties to manage remotely. He added “Being proactive and finding new ways, having lateral communications to have new ideas and collaborations helped him. The key in these unpredictable times is to be flexible, practical, and creative.” He continued, “We have to rely on each other and grow together.”

Moving on with his hobbies such as gardening, sports car, soccer, coin collection, and hiking, Peter said “Finding time for hobbies never happens, we have to make time. It is important to find a balance.”

Finally coming to the concluding message for the generations to come, Mr. Webner stated “Keeping the patient front and foremost is the key. Everyone has the ability to do great things. Learn from the mistakes. The key is to keep learning and keep applying. Be comfortable to go outside the comfort zone.” Adding to the above, Dr. Behera said he was honored to have an opportunity to work with Mr. Webner and considers him to be his mentor. He curiously asked him when he would add bitcoin to his coin collection. To this Mr. Webner advised of not investing in stocks he buys for a more profitable outcome; and they all had a hearty laugh. Mr. Webner has an exceptional business sense as much he appreciates education and professional degrees. He insists on combining the right uniform with the right degree. And we all agree with his approach.



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