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Meet Our 2019 Cohort of Fellows: Michael Solotke

Yale School of Management

Although I hold many identities, my most salient identities of late have been future physician (OBGYN, in particular) and LGBTQI+ leader at Yale. I am a student in the joint MD/MBA program at Yale, with the ultimate goal of training as an OBGYN and finding an impactful and fulfilling career involving health, policy, management, and innovation. Immediately prior to medical school, I worked for three years at IQVIA (previously IMS Consulting Group), largely on projects related to biopharmaceutical pricing and strategy. I was born and raised in Deerfield, Illinois, and I hold a B.S. in Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry from Yale. My interests outside of healthcare include delicious ice cream, playing various instruments, running, spin classes, and adventurous cooking.

What made you consider business school?

From a young age, I knew that I wanted to impact lives as a physician. After completing pre-medical studies at Yale, I learned about the structural and financial forces impacting healthcare while working at a global healthcare consulting firm. During this time, I recognized that in order to make changes that ultimately benefit patients susceptible to structural inequities, I needed a thorough understanding of what makes healthcare tick and more comprehensive leadership training. I hope that business school will complement my clinical education, sharpening my skills so that I can make an impact on organizations and patients throughout the remainder of my training and career.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

Business school, and Yale SOM in particular, appeals to me because of the people and the experience. I look forward to listening to peers from across the country and world describe their experiences as professionals, patients, and people. I am excited to explore the world's important questions with other curious individuals who hope to use management to effect positive change. And I can't wait to build long-lasting relationships that will be personally and professionally fulfilling.

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Because the thought of picking a single leader that inspires me is impossible, I picked 5. From healthcare: Dr. Leana Wen, for her extraordinary tenacity, leadership, ability to drive cultural and organizational change, and dedication to reproductive rights and healthcare. From the world of LGBTQI+ activism: Marsha Johnson, who led critical trans activism at Stonewall and through ACT UP, and whose legacy has inspired me since I first learned about her almost a decade ago. As a human being: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for her story, excellence as a judge, and commitment to justice for all. From the arts: Daniel Barenboim, for his leadership with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and his vision of how the arts can bridge seemingly uncrossable chasms. And from business: Tim Cook, for modeling that leaders can succeed at the highest levels in business while being open about their identities and maintaining their sense of self.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

Although I spend the majority of my time studying, honing my clinical skills, and engaging in LGBTQI+ advocacy work, I also hold another identity and career: professional carillonneur. As a musician performing on carillons - instruments composed of chromatically-tuned bells located in clock towers - I create the musical backdrop for university campuses, churches, and public spaces with compositions ranging from Bach to Beyonce. What began in 2010 as another hobby in my busy Yale undergraduate schedule has budded into a professional endeavor that perfectly complements my healthcare endeavors. Highlights of my carillon career include achieving professional carillonneur certification through the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America, studying carillon with global leaders in carillon pedagogy at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, Belgium, and bringing my tintinnabulation to diverse audiences in six countries and 18 U.S. states.