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Alumni spotlight: Dr. Paul Glisson

Published: 01/26/2018

College of Sciences and Mathematics alumnus Dr. Paul Glisson is a physician who regularly interacts with large groups of medical professionals and staff, and actively works toward making a difference in the lives of his patients. He does this by ensuring quality metrics in the healthcare system are met and conform to federal regulations. 

He is the chief medical officer at Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, Fla., and as such, Dr. Glisson must exercise exceptional communication and negotiation skills. An essential part of his job requires a high “EQ.” While “IQ” is a measure of intellect, EQ calls for a high degree of “emotional intelligence.” Essentially, Dr. Glisson’s job is to read people.

“Health care is no longer a solo occupation,” said Dr. Glisson. “It requires highly functioning teams that set high standards and then hold themselves to it…reading the crowd, sensing personality issues, and then being able to coach staff on both ends of the spectrum to work together for one goal only—giving great care to our patients.”

Dr. Glisson said a recent, major accomplishment was joining with his peers to declare a war on Sepsis as part of the national “Surviving Sepsis Campaign.”

“As a system, the data told us that we were average, at best, in recognizing and treating Sepsis, which is a major cause of mortality in the U.S.,” said Dr. Glisson.

Dr. Glisson helped form a large network of physicians and medical staff to improve the practices for recognizing and diagnosing Sepsis.

“We focused on treatment guidelines that were aggressive, but consistent with the latest research,” said Dr. Glisson. “After 18 months of working on this plan, we have seen a drastic reduction in recognition, treatment and mortality from Sepsis.”

When reflecting back on his time at Auburn, Dr. Glisson said the amount of self-discipline needed to succeed in the College of Sciences and Mathematics was high, but ultimately rewarding.

“COSAM taught me to study as hard as possible, and then double it,” said Dr. Glisson. “I had no idea what hard work was when I arrived on campus. It only took one semester to realize that my best wasn’t going to be good enough.” 

While at Auburn, Dr. Glisson was involved with Auburn’s Basketball Pep Band. He also performed in musicals with Auburn’s Department of Theater, and said the social networking and atmosphere was much different in the theater than with COSAM students.

“It’s important to mix the academics with the arts,” said Dr. Glisson. “You end up being much more well-rounded if you take time to be creative in life."

Dr. Glisson said that ultimately, it was a combination of hard work and social networking at Auburn that paid off and gave him an edge when finding his place in medicine.

For Auburn students today, Dr. Glisson advises to “think backwards” on the goals they might have.

“By that, I mean don’t plan to be a physician, but plan to have your medical school interview,” said Dr. Glisson. “What grades do you want to show the team interviewing you? What parts of your life do you want to share with them? Set yourself up for success in the future.  If you don’t plan, then the future is what is given to you.  "

Dr. Glisson received a bachelor of science in chemistry from Auburn in 1992, and later a master’s in business administration in 2008. He is from Mobile and currently resides in Fairhope.  ​

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