An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

My experience working at a start up early in my career included never being allowed to say: “It is not my job.”

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Titus.

Matt Titus is the Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at epocrates, an athenahealth, Inc. company that delivers digital clinical decision support to prescribers. Titus joined epocrates from Real Chemistry, a global health innovation company, where he served as EVP, sales & customer experience and led commercial teams for the Health Technology Products & Solutions and Commercial Consulting offerings, including PaaS, SaaS, and IaaS solutions for pharmaceutical and life science companies.

Prior to that role, he served as the VP of business development — Americas for Kantar Profiles (Health), where he was head of sales for the Americas and led global commercial and revenue growth strategy, and also worked as a managing director at SERMO.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

A Craigslist ad! No, seriously!

I responded to a Criagslist advertisement in early 2010 to join a new healthcare startup. That was back in the early days of healthcare provider analytics via the internet and I joined Sermo as the tenth employee in the U.S. I had an incredible run there briefly working in project management before moving into a commercial role as the company grew to several hundred employees based in North America — eventually became the managing director of the Charlotte office. The rest is history!

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Our work at epocrates is disrupting the physician experience at the point of care, or when they’re meeting with patients. With the science of disease and drug discovery moving faster than the speed of light, clinicians are increasingly turning to digital resources during patient appointments more than ever to triangulate diagnoses, understand ideal treatment pathways, and prescribe the right medication to optimize health outcomes.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Oh boy. In my early days I had a client that was very anxious about an analytics project — too anxious. They once called and emailed me six times while I was away from my desk for just 30 minutes to grab lunch, even though the project was on time and on budget. I responded by unplugging my phone for the afternoon so I could keep other client projects on task. This turned out to be a big mistake!

I quickly learned the importance of overcommunicating what was happening and gaining trust with clients to uncover their key drivers of behavior. Looking back, I should have picked up the phone to understand what was causing the anxiety and agreeing on a strategic plan moving forward.

People are people. Sometimes, we just need a caring ear to listen to our concerns and all will be fine. I learned a valuable business lesson that day.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

There have been so many!

Tara Hostetter (Mercer) and the late Chris Morley (Sermo) — taught me the very best about creating an epic client experience and how to keep it fun while doing it.

Jennifer Carrea (Kantar Profiles) taught me to lead from the front by speaking truth to power.

My WPP Maestro Executive Leadership Group — Sam Dolin (Klick), Dana McGreevy (Real Chemistry), Jeff Semones (Group M), and Brian Elwarner (GTB Agency) all taught me to bring my authentic self every day.

And last but not least, John Seaner ( taught me building scale from scratch, category creation, and limitless thinking.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Healthcare is filled with those who have deep pockets, great intentions, and have valiantly tried and failed to disrupt our country’s healthcare system.

There’s no better example than a long list of Big Tech companies like IBM Watson or the Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway alliance (which created a company called Haven) that disbanded after less than 2 years. Too many of these players rush to overhaul an antiquated industry that’s overly complex, and where inoperability and cost overruns are the norm, without fully understanding the fundamental challenges that first need to be solved.

While the U.S. is the most scientifically advanced nation in the world, we come in first for dollars spent per patient, but last on patient outcomes. Clearly we are not getting out what we are putting in.

Checks and balances should be in place to avoid fraudulent disruptors (e.g., Theranos), but the it’s true that healthcare needs to be disrupted, if we will allow it. Disruption has to start first and foremost with the patient. That means keeping patients healthy by diet, exercise, regular primary care check ups, and best-in-class treatments for chronic conditions. Start there, and the results with come!

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

My experience working at a start up early in my career included never being allowed to say: “It is not my job.”

That taught me a valuable lesson — it is the collective responsibility of all employees to drive the organization forward. While some job functions are specifically assigned, many other workstreams or special projects offer opportunities to develop leadership, coaching, and strategic thinking. Use these environments to push yourself and grow these skillsets to help you reach your goals and tap into your full potential.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

Why stop at point of care? Science and medicine are moving at a million miles a minute.

If we truly want to disrupt healthcare, we have to think about meeting clinicians and [atients where there are — in their home, at the office, within the clinic, or at the hospital. Healthcare has now evolved into a 24/7 endeavor and keeping patients healthy year round is paramount to stop the constant drain on our current system.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

While at Kantar, Dr. Michael Gervais of Compete To Create came and spoke to us at a leadership retreat. As a former athlete, his application of peak performance by mastering the mental aspects of yourself and your business environment really resonated with me and helped me tap into my maximum potential. You can follow his podcast where he hosts world renowned experts called “Finding Mastery”.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

The legendary LA Dodgers Hall Of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda once said, “In baseball and in business there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.” It’s always important to be driving forward and be the one who makes it happen!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Be kind. It’s free. People can conquer insurmountable tasks when they work together instead of against each other.

How can our readers follow you online?

You can reach us directly at, and also follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Matt Titus Of epocrates On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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