Our Physician Coaches:
Mark Jaben MD


Mark has spent his career working as an emergency physician in a variety of settings in the United States and New Zealand.

After finishing undergraduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and medical school at the University of Miami, Florida, he did a rotating internship year at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon before going on to emergency medicine residency at what was then called University Hospital of Jacksonville, Florida, now University of Florida, Shands Jacksonville.

For more than 20 years, Mark was part of an independent emergency medicine group, during which time he wore many hats as a managing partner, associate director, and EMS medical director. After that, he moved on to locums and independent work. For 13 years, this included active clinical practice as well as coaching emergency departments, hospitals, administrators, managers and individuals on system improvement. In addition to coaching with TheHappyMD, he has served as medical director for his county health department since 2018.


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Over this time, there has been ample opportunity to experience first hand the stress of medical care and the health care world, not only here in the United States and abroad, but in institutions ranging from small critical access hospitals to large urban centers in both non-profit and for profit systems, and even more so with Covid so dominating our lives.

Away from work he spends a good deal of his time kayaking the local whitewater rivers in North Carolina and hiking its beautiful wilderness. He is the author of Free The Brain: Overcome The Struggle People And Organizations Face With Change, which applies insights from neuroscience research on how the brain operates to why organizations do, or don’t, function so well, and what can be done about it.

Mark and Mary Ann have three children, the oldest of whom is currently completing a GI fellowship.

"Despite the gloom and doom that seems to cloud medicine these days, I see the future of health care in a more optimistic light especially when I spend time with the upcoming generation of physicians.

I hope to leave them a world that better fosters their dreams, values their commitment, and supports, rather than depletes, the energy they will need for the work they have ahead of them. But for the rest of us deeply mired in the current environment, my work is to help us all find a sustainable path and a next step forward."



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