Karen Zupko


Areas of Expertise

  • Business and Healthcare Trends that Impact Physicians
  • Hiring, Training, and Staff Development
  • Marketing and Practice Enhancement
  • Organizational and Cultural Effectiveness
  • Physician Transition Planning and Coaching
  • Improving the Patient Experience


  • American Journal of Orthopedics
  • Aesthetic Surgery News
  • AAOSNow
  • Plastic Surgery News
  • Physicians Practice


  • Medical Group Management Association
  • American Marketing Association
  • Health Care Strategy Forum

An internationally recognized thought leader and speaker, Karen Zupko advises physicians and healthcare managers about the challenges and trends impacting the practice of medicine. Her pragmatic, action-oriented style inspires people to apply common sense and business rigor to improve profitability, efficiency, and patient satisfaction.

Karen’s wisdom comes from decades of consulting, coaching, and training tens of thousands of physicians, managers, and staff from coast to coast. Primarily an advisor to surgical specialists in orthopaedics, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, otolaryngology, and vascular surgery, as well as dermatology, Karen’s expertise encompasses all areas of practice management, from marketing, financial management, and operational efficiency to leadership and governance, online reputation management, and social media strategy. In addition to working with physicians, Karen’s depth of experience has made her an effective advisor to medical device, healthcare technology, and pharmaceutical companies.

Attending one of Karen’s presentations is as entertaining as it is informative. Her motto is, “you can’t bore people into learning,” and her high-energy style makes her an in-demand speaker. Audiences around the world give Karen rave reviews for blending humor, captivating stories, business trends, and popular culture with innovative ideas and straightforward solutions to the most pressing challenges physicians face.

After directing the American Medical Association’s department of practice management for six of her twelve years there, Karen opened her firm as a “solo practice” in 1985. Today, the KarenZupko & Associates (KZA) team numbers nearly 25 consultants and staff with skills in management, coding and reimbursement, marketing, technology, financial management, clinical operations, and patient care. KZA consultants and trainers are known for having a keen understanding of the management and operational challenges that practices face every day and delivering guidance that is nuanced to the unique characteristics of each practice client, and its specialty. The firm is well recognized for its ethical coding education, high impact business advice, and service excellence.

Karen has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Kansas. She is a board member of the English Speaking Union, Chicago Branch and has served on the board of a Chicago hospital. Karen is also a grand patron of the Chicago Historical Museum’s Costume Council, and a governing member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

A Chicago native, Karen is an adventurous world traveler, voracious reader, culinary artist, and avid enthusiast of both the performing and visual arts. She is known for her creative spirit and her penchant for style and decorum.