by Jim Gehman
“We were getting better over time and it really felt like we had a good group of people on the team,” said the offensive tackle. “It was a great group to play with, and the team was fairly good to us, as well. It was an enjoyable place to play and live and be a member of the community.”
Following five seasons with the Buccaneers and one with the Oakland Raiders, McRae joined the cyberspace community.
“I got into doing website design and networking. I’ve always been a bit of a geek. I was doing some of the networking and helping the people in the front office of the Buccaneers. If they had computer problems, they’d come find me,” McRae said with a laugh. “I had my own company and then joined a dot-com (company) out of New England. It was great, a lot of fun, and I was in meetings with majors in the outdoor trade and doing deals. And I’d never had a business class, ever.
“But I had serious disagreements with how we were running the business. I knew from an institutional standpoint that what we were doing wasn’t going to be successful. And that I did not know how to a.) communicate that, and b.) how to fix it. It’s no good for somebody just to say, ‘Hey, this is wrong. It doesn’t work.’ You need to have solutions and answers and I didn’t have those.”
McRae then decided to part ways and pursue an MBA from the University of Tennessee School of Business. Which led to a third career – healthcare.
“I had a couple friends that were radiologists and they were having challenges with their business operation. They’d come to me with their questions and I’d give them answers,” McRae said. “About the time I was getting out of the MBA program, they decided they needed to hire a business leader to run the organization. So, I jumped into that, and that’s when the education really began. They had no idea the challenges they actually really had.
“And remember, I’ve got no healthcare experience. Just a freshly minted MBA, and I get tossed into the middle of a firestorm. But after we get things turned around, we ended up over doubling the size of the practice over the next six years.”
McRae then joined Columbus Radiology in 2011, which joined Radiology Partners, the largest physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the country, five years later. He is now their Senior Vice President of Operations.
“At the time, that made Radiology Partners about 320 physicians. We’re at about 1,500 physicians today,” said McRae, who makes his home in Knoxville, Tenn., with his wife, Lori, and has seven children. “I’ve got a great job. We really have a mission to improve healthcare. And radiology touches virtually every person in the country at some point in their life.
“We are able to do so much more. We have fantastic technology. We’ve got a great culture and a commitment to transforming how radiology’s performed. It really is exciting to get up and go to work with an organization that has a mission that matters.”