President’s Scholar Greg Caronis: Practical Approach to Medicine

Lake Effects Blog

Monday, June 13, 2016

Greg Caronis, an Orthopedic Surgeon and Owner of Greenleaf Orthopedic Associates, Physician at Lindenhurst Surgical Center, and Vice Chairman, Department of Surgery at Advocate Condell Medical Center, was one of five recipients of Lake Forest Graduate School of Management’s President’s Scholars Program Scholarship. President’s Scholars are individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership qualities, achieve measurable results and exhibit high growth potential. They join a tight-knit community of highly motivated professionals and dedicated Business Leader Faculty® mentors.

Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) sat down with Greg to talk about why every doctor should have a good understanding of business, and how Lake Forest’s practical approach to learning has made a difference in his medical practice.

From a young age, Greg Caronis appreciated the nuances of business. “My father ran a small business – Omega Restaurant in Niles,” Greg said, “so I would help him with the business and was always learning about how things ran.” His curiosity for business continued to grow, even after becoming an orthopedic surgeon, and it was his interest in improving the day-to-day operations of his medical practice that made Greg start thinking about an MBA.

The Intersection of Medicine & Business

It’s no secret that some doctors can be poor businessmen – while they have all the knowledge in the world of medicine, often times they are not familiar with the ins and outs of managing people or running a business. “A weakness of mine has always been managing,” Greg said. “I tend to get drawn into the individual problems of the day and don’t have the opportunity to think strategically about how to elevate the practice and manage better, so the transition into business made all the sense in the world.”

Greg understood that in order to run a better medical practice, he needed to know how to run all aspects of the business – from accounting and marketing to business development and sales. After speaking with numerous friends who received their MBAs from LFGSM, Greg realized that Lake Forest was the best fit for his career goals thanks to its practical learning application and flexibility with classes available at multiple locations and online.

Learn Today, Use Tomorrow

Greg has been able to take what he learns in the classroom, and apply it to his practice – practically the very next day! One such example happened when Greg was given an assignment that focused on how to develop leaders within a company. This assignment helped him realize that his practice had no established programs to guide new physicians on how to lead within the practice.

“Medical training is all about medicine,” Greg said. “We don’t learn about the business side of medicine. The ability to sit down and talk with a new physician about what seminars to attend, career development, and an understanding of the industry – whether it’s insurance or regulations – is invaluable.”

Utilizing what he learned from the assignment, Greg started to develop a leadership program for the physicians in his practice. He shared his ideas with his classmates and teachers, and received valuable feedback on how to incorporate his plan into his business.

Building a Leading Medical Practice

The President’s Scholars Program has also given Greg invaluable guidance throughout his studies. The small group meetings with the other President’s Scholars, coupled with monthly mentoring sessions with LFGSM CEO and President Jeff Anderson, have provided Greg with the opportunity to have impactful business and leadership discussions.

Thanks to his work with Jeff, a benefit of the President’s Scholars Program, Greg has discovered a new-found appreciation for coaching and leadership development. “Everyone can benefit from individual coaching,” Greg said. “If we are honest with ourselves, we can figure out what to work on in order to improve our skills.”

With his own advice in hand, Greg has devoted his time to improving how he manages – ranging from the implementation of strategy to international business relations. Despite the challenges of juggling a job, school, and family, the end goal of becoming a better leader and a better businessman has been well worth it for Greg.


We are currently seeking applicants for the next group of President’s Scholars. To be considered for the President’s Scholars Program for the Fall Term of the 2016-2017 academic year, candidates must complete the Lake Forest MBA admissions process by July 1. Click here for more information. Check out the profile of President’s Scholar, Rebecca Soriano.


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