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Ben Carfano

Ben Carfano
When did you work for Covid Clinic? What kinds of things did you do there?

I started working for Covid Clinic in June of 2020 as a traffic controller and was promoted quickly to take on all kinds of roles; registration, lab technician, lead lab technician, project manager, and finally director of medical informatics. The work I did involved designing workflows, developing technical systems and platforms, and managing teams.

What is the most interesting part about working at Covid Clinic?
When I was hired, we were a small team of around twenty people working between two parking lot pop-up testing clinics. We had tremendous opportunities for growth, which is what interested me most about my work. As a traffic controller, registration clerk, and lab technician, I was subconsciously learning the fundamentals of the business. As director of medical informatics, my focus was improving workflows to help fuel expansion and increase quality control. I believed in my ideas and pushed to have them implemented. At first, my ideas were small-scale issues, but they eventually grew large enough to transform the company’s business model to become highly scalable and profitable. After a one-year period, we grew to a workforce of over five hundred people spread across more than two hundred locations all throughout the US. Being a part of that was very interesting and life-altering to say the least.

I’m told you built a laboratory information system from scratch with no computer science background. What was it like to teach yourself computer science?
It was an extremely difficult task, but rewarding challenge to first teach myself programming and then build a laboratory information system (LIS). This LIS was responsible for correctly delivering test results to patients and health agencies, making it an extremely stressful system to manage. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to build and manage teams to further develop and support the platform. This process taught me the real definition of what it means to have passion and perseverance.

What are your future school/career plans?
The healthcare exposure I have gained as well as the work I’m involved in has greatly shaped my career plans. I aim to practice medicine in a primary care setting continuing my work to better the healthcare experience for all patients. The work I have done in the lab setting and now in the telemedicine space has grown my desire to provide aid to patients directly as a member of the healthcare community.

How do you manage your time between school, work, and other projects?
The early months were a challenge to say the least. I struggled with managing my time between working eighty to ninety hours weekly while taking a full-time course load. I was able to overcome my struggle with time management by establishing a routine. With this schedule in place, I was able to meet my work goals while prioritizing my physical and mental wellbeing.

Any advice for current undergraduate students?
Going beyond what’s expected can lead to amazing new experiences you may not have thought were possible. Even more, surrounding yourself with diverse and intelligent people that can help you go so much further and learn so much more.