Mark Bates, technical director for Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory Services at the George Washington University (GW) Medical Faculty Associates (MFA), has high standards — for his team, for patient outcomes, and for himself. He’s a team player, a sought-after vascular technologist and manager, and a leader. Most importantly, he’s empathetic. Here, Bates talks lessons of collaboration, care, and compassion.
Q. What is your role at GW, and what does it entail?
Bates: I’m the technical director for Non-Invasive Vascular Laboratory Services for the GW MFA. I have a dual role in the Division of Vascular Surgery. The first is to manage the technical staff for proficiency and accuracy, while performing noninvasive vascular testing for our patients. We have very specific testing guidelines and protocols that we must follow to ensure quality outcomes and that our vascular surgeons rely on for proper surgical management of the patient. The second role is to manage the day-to-day operations for all testing locations, to include resource management and utilization, as well as budget and fiscal responsibility.
Q. How did you get started at GW?
Bates: I was asked to join the GW MFA at the request of my former medical director. I was intrigued by the prospect of joining a large academic program that had a multidisciplinary approach to vascular surgery.
Q. What accomplishments here are you particularly proud of?
Bates: When I first came to the Department of Surgery here at the GW MFA, I was the only registered vascular technologist in the department, and all of the studies I did were conducted in an exam room. Fast forward 10 years, and now we have grown to employ four registered vascular technologists, we have developed a dedicated vascular laboratory testing suite, and we offer five testing locations within our system. I am particularly proud to have been a part of that journey.
Q. What lessons have you learned while working here?
Bates: Interacting with such a diverse population and seeing how challenging the logistics of just getting to and from an appointment can be for them has given me a better perspective on my personal understanding of the meaning of empathy.
Q. What excites or inspires you the most about your job?
Bates: Knowing that each day I arrive to work, my team and patients rely on me to offer the very best in support of their vascular health concerns. Being good at what you do is just part of the equation. The other part of the equation is surrounding yourself with talented, compassionate professionals who complement your skill set. There’s no “I” in TEAM.