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On May 1st, Michael Wagner, MD became Wellforce’s first Chief Physician Executive. It is a position that fits Dr. Wagner’s background perfectly and one for which he has a great passion. Many know Dr. Wagner from his role as CEO of Tufts Medical Center, but learn a bit more about him here and understand why working with Wellforce’s 3,000 physicians is his great honor and pleasure.

He is a Primary Care Physician (PCP) by training and heart

After completing his internal medicine residency, where he served as the Chief Medical Resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Hanover, NH, Dr. Wagner, MD pursued his passion for primary care as a general internist at Tufts Medical Center. He understands the joys and stresses that come with being a practicing physician and says it is the most rewarding job he has ever had.

He was an early proponent of hospitalist programs and his frequent flyer miles proved it

Early on, Dr. Wagner had the foresight that hospitalist programs would play an important role in improving medical care for patients and lifestyles for physicians. Dr. Wagner traveled the country working with hospitals and physician groups to build and manage 66 hospitalist programs with 385 physicians in 16 states.

He’s the only physician leader in Boston with this type of experience

You won’t find another physician leader in Boston who has worked in all the settings Dr. Wagner has. He’s been a primary care physician, worked as a hospitalist in community hospitals, and he has been the CEO of a major academic medical center. He’s also been a Chief Medical Officer and the CEO of Physicians Organizations. So, from the inner workings of clinics, units and executive offices, he has likely seen it all.

His first job was working as a computer analyst

You may not have known that Dr. Wagner’s first job out of college was as a computer analyst working on naval underwater warfare simulation, submarine war gaming. This was in an era before the personal computer; and in fact, you can see the model of computer he worked on in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.

He lives by the motto: “The patient is at the center of everything we do.”

When asked to provide his one sentence philosophy on practicing medicine today, Dr. Wagner immediately responded with, “The patient is at the center of everything we do.” His motto exemplifies what really matters to him most and why his new position as Wellforce Chief Physician Executive is a great fit. He has never lost sight of why he went into medicine in the first place: the patient.

Health care is truly personal for Dr. Wagner

Primary care was Dr. Wagner’s first love, and he met his ultimate love while practicing medicine at Tufts Medical Center. His now wife, Tracy, worked in the managed care department at Tufts Medical Center when Dr. Wagner was a young primary care physician. They dated two years and just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have four children from ages 18-24.


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