By John Wallace
Career choices come in a variety of ways, but University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Administrative Director of Radiology Angelic “Angie” P. Bush found her calling in a unique way.
“I was a U.S. Air Force trained radiology technologist (4R0X1). I selected that as my field of study after having an IVP (intravenous pyelogram) and asking the rad tech a lot of questions. The field intrigued me,” Bush explains.
Her career choice is a decision she does not regret.
“The radiology field is a perfect combination of medicine, IT and innovation to constantly challenge my mind and keep me from getting stagnant,” Bush says. “Working at UTMB has been one of the best blessings I have experienced because while we are an academic medical center, here we do not have a lot of the politics you would find in major medical centers. The doctors wear jeans and polos and ride bikes to work. Driving to work I see the sun rise over the ocean, and when driving home I see sea gulls and spoonbills lounging in the bay,” Bush says.
She has benefitted from some great mentors throughout her career.
“My first and greatest mentor is my mother, Maria Flores (many refer to her as ‘Momma Maria’ — a name my husband, Curt, gave her). She taught me anything worth having will cost you time, sweat, money or pain. If it doesn’t cost you one of these things, you will never truly appreciate it. You know, she is right, and I truly value every opportunity that has come from my time, sweat, money or pain and take nothing for granted,” she says.” Second would be my husband Curt Bush. You see, while he and I have different approaches to our work, he has shown me what true balance is. I don’t have to work my fingers to the bone. I need to trust my team more. I always thought I did until it was pointed out that I hovered. Once I realized that, I have seen a transformation in my team and their confidence and mine. It has improved dramatically.”
Bush pays it forward by serving as a mentor to others.
“I love mentoring imaging professionals,” she says. “Mostly because I love to see that excitement in their eyes and hear that awe in their voices when something truly clicks for them.”
Bush says she loves it when a mentee figures out something in their budgets or when they turn a troubled department around.
“Some of my current mentees are radiologists. Yes, radiologists. Specifically, female radiologists. Let’s just say it takes a strong woman to be in this field, but sometimes strong women get a bad rap,” Bush says. “So, it’s important to surround ourselves with others who can relate and support each other. Some of that support means being honest with each other when we could have handled a situation better.”
She has also served as a mentor to two successful children.
“That is tricky,” Bush says when asked about her greatest accomplishment, “because if you ask me what my greatest accomplishment is as an open-ended question, hands down, it would be raising two outstanding, well-balanced and successful children. My son, Zavier McDonald, is a U.S. Air Force Airborne Crypto-Linguist and my daughter, Alexia McDonald, is a youth pastor at The Fellowship of the Woodlands Church in The Woodlands Texas.”
“As a career, my greatest accomplishments have been mentoring some amazing leaders that I truly respect like Dennis Indiero, who is now a director at Texas Children’s Hospital, and Susan Young, who is managing Lakeway Hospital imaging department in Austin,” Bush adds. “Encouraging people like Kadar Wallace who was a transporter at Houston Methodist Willowbrook, to see his potential and he now has a master’s degree and is providing well for a beautiful family.”
Building up and supporting others is important to Bush.
“I am glad you used the word ‘leadership’ versus ‘management,’” she says when asked about her approach to leadership. “Because that is the difference. Leaders should come to work every day trying to put themselves out of a job. What I mean is, share everything. Share the why behind your choices, be transparent, be vulnerable and, above all, be willing to make the right choice even if it is not the popular one. Many times, making the right choice is not popular and that means we have to walk a tight line. Are you doing your job or working to keep your job?”
Bush is proud of her children and her husband and is excited about celebrating their fourth wedding anniversary in 2021. They will each be presenting a session at the upcoming Imaging Conference and Expo (ICE) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, visit AttendICE.com.
Life balance is a buzzword these days, but it is more than a trend for some. It is an important way to live to relieve and/or reduce stress. Bush adds to the concept with advice on how to stay young.
“Live a life of adventure. Doing so keeps you young, keeps your mind sharp and promotes innovation,” Bush says. “If you don’t feed your own soul, you have nothing to give to your team. Remember that. Find out what truly feeds your soul and do it often. That will allow you the energy to share it with others.”