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Ten minutes with Dr Krishnaj Gourab, Chief Medical Officer, Hospital Incident Commander, COVID-19 response: University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
  1. Adler Archer1,2
  1. 1 Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2 King's Business School, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adler Archer, Technology Innovation Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; adler{at}

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Krishnaj Gourab is the Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Medical Affairs at the University of Medical Rehabilitation and Orthopaedic Institute. Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, he has also served as the hospital’s Incident Commander. He is currently appointed at the rank of Clinical Associate Professor at University of Maryland School of Medicine and adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Krishnaj is a subspecialty board certified in Clinical Informatics and board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). He is a graduate of the Analytics Leadership Program in Patient Safety and the Hexcite program at Johns Hopkins Medicine-Technology Innovation Center. Krishnaj uses his training in informatics and his leadership role to build systems that enhance transparency and just culture in his organization. He believes that this is important while dealing with a crisis and also while delivering safe, high quality and engaging patient care on a daily basis.

First and foremost, are there any key leadership messages you want to get out to our readership?

The first message I would share with the readers is that it is imperative for leaders to ‘walk the talk’. There is a risk every time we walk into a patient’s room that we might be exposed to COVID-19. Therefore, if I ask staff members to put their families in harm’s way potentially, I must be willing to make the same sacrifice. I need the staff to trust that we are all taking the same precautions and have access to the same safeguarding, support and resources. If you were to visit our hospital and observe the senior leadership team, you would find the CEO and myself interacting with patients, equipped with a surgical mask and face shield. We are not entitled to an n95 …

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  • Author note Interview date: 27 July 2020.

  • Twitter @helloadler

  • Funding AA was supported by KBS and RADMA scholar programmes.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.