Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD

Cues and Views

Physician leader, Brain and Behavior specialist and entrepreneur Jennie Byrne, in brief.

Jennie Byrne, MD, PhD

Home: Chapel Hill, NC.  Birthplace: York, PA.  Profession: Physician leader, Brain and Behavior specialist, entrepreneur, author.  Pronouns: She/Her/Hers.  Significant other: Tom Byrne (spouse).  Alma mater: University of Pennsylvania (BA, Biological Basis of Behavior and French); New York University (MD, PhD in Neurophysiology); Mt. Sinai Health System (Psychiatry Residency).  Languages spoken: English and French.

Current project: “Work Smart – Use Your Brain and Behavior to Master the Future of Work”.  To be published by New Degree Press in January 2023.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Entrepreneurial journey to found, grow, and exit a medical practice as a solo-preneur.  Hobbies: Musician (ex-music major for bassoon performance, currently playing electric bass in rock band); Fiber Arts (knitting, weaving, rug tufting); avid reader of multiple book genres.  Last book read: Other Minds, by Peter Godfrey-Smith.

Personality profile: Curious, kind, pragmatic, honest, original, open.  What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Engineers and artists.  How do you relieve stress? Exercise (rowing, walking, yoga, dancing); creative activities (art, music).  What is your go-to workout? HYDROW rowing workouts, 305 Dance Fitness, long walks around Chapel Hill.  What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? Learning new things.

What emojis best describe you? 🧠😎🤔💥.

What was your first paying job? As a clerk in a children’s clothing store.  What was your favorite college course? Brain and Behavior. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Amadeus. What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Artwork from my family.  What’s the best advice you received in your career? Avoid binary (either/or) and black and white thinking.  What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? Living in New York City during 9/11.

What is your big idea? Everyone thinks that the future of work is about better technology.  Based on my experience, research and guts, I think it is about being a better human.  What widely-held belief do you reject? That human beings are primarily motivated by money.  What mega-trend most excites you? Value-based healthcare.  What mega-trend most concerns you? Brain drain from our universities into the financial sector.  

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? William James.  After your loved ones, what object would you first save from your burning home? A painting by my great-aunt Bobbie and my photo albums.  What advice would you give your younger self? You are your own best mentor and guide.  Always learn from others, but don’t rely on them for advice.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? The five years I spent doing my PhD.

Personal mission: Bringing innovation and disruption to multiple healthcare organizations. Personal motto: You can’t plan out your future, but you can plan what you will say YES to and what you will say NO to.

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