In the Hot Seat: Mark Chen
We’re taking you inside the 98point6 team with our “In the Hot Seat” series. These interviews give a glimpse of the dedicated people behind our product. In this edition, we sat down with Mark Chen, one of our product physicians. Read on for more about Dr. Mark.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT 98POINT6?
I joined the company about a year and a half ago as a product physician. There were only 17 or 18 folks here then, and it’s been exciting to see the huge expansion of our company. As a product physician, I help drive product development from a clinical perspective. By working closely with our program managers and engineers I have the unique opportunity to participate at almost every step of software development, which is an exciting role for a physician.
WHAT INITIALLY DREW YOU TO WORKING HERE?
I was previously a primary care physician and technology lead at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. I became very interested in emerging tech and innovation while at Kaiser due to their focus on incorporating technology into the work we did. I found that traditional doctor’s office medicine helps people at an individual level, but I wanted to branch out to see what I could do on a larger scale. I found 98point6’s mission of creating more accessible healthcare captivating and convincing enough to make a big transition.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT WORKING HERE?
The collaboration between different groups is amazing. It’s really a unique experience working with each group. In a small company like 98point6, you get to be involved in all aspects of the operation, which keeps everyone motivated. I also get to work with Linda, my fellow product physician, which is great. Working together allows us to think big.
IF YOU COULD DO ANOTHER JOB FOR JUST ONE DAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Hmm…I’m going to choose two jobs. I would love to be a panda caretaker. There is a region in China called Chengdu where they have a research center specifically dedicated to raise pandas. All of the baby pandas who are born abroad are sent there. You either have to work there or be a head of state to get to hold a panda. I think it might be easier just to work there so I could get a chance to play with one.
My second choice would be a pilot. I love to travel, and being a pilot gives you the opportunity to visit and explore more countries. I love to collect miles and points — it’s a huge hobby of mine. Nearly all of the vacations that I have taken since the age of eighteen have been paid for with points. I once flew business class from here (Seattle) to Peru, Easter Island in Chile, Brazil and Buenos Aires, all in one trip and all on points. I mainly get my points through strategic credit card offerings, and then hoard the points until I can spend them wisely!
WHEN YOU’RE NOT HOARDING TRAVEL POINTS, HOW DO YOU STAY HEALTHY?
I try to walk a lot, but I also like to enjoy myself. I feel like healthiness is happiness, and I try not to deprive myself of anything. On the other hand though, I think it’s necessary to have everything in moderation. My favorite restaurant is “Manolin” in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. When I first moved here, I found that the main cuisine that was missing from Seattle was Peruvian food. I love ceviche, and I found this restaurant by chance. The neighborhood is great, and it just so happens that all of their dishes are delicious too. I also fall back on Chinese food a lot as that’s what I grew up on. With such a wide variety of choices in Seattle it makes it ultimately easy to eat not only healthily but happily too.
Thanks Mark, for stepping into the Hot Seat. Stay tuned for more employee spotlights!