Candidate Corner

Why Physicians Should Get an MBA

Posted by Anonymous at 7/10/2017 1:25:12 PM

The Case for Business School for the Physician

Why Physicians Should Get an MBA

With implementation of the Affordable Care Act underway and managed care organizations growing increasingly complex, some of the greatest challenges in healthcare today are business related. In response to this trend, more and more physicians in training—as well as an increasing number of practicing physicians—are choosing to round out their knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a business degree.

What you don’t know can hurt you

Let’s face it, most newly minted M.D.s don’t understand how a hospital or clinical practice makes money, how to manage people, how to make or interpret financial models, or much less how to lead a large complex organization. Earning an M.B.A. provides physicians with a solid leadership foundation to build upon, and the practical toolset necessary to address many of the looming challenges facing healthcare today.

According to the Association of M.D./M.B.A. Programs, the number of joint M.D./M.B.A. programs in the U.S. has grown from six to 65 in 20 years—increasing by 25 percent between 2011 and 2012 alone. In part, this is because earning an M.B.A. provides a new physician with more immediate clout in decision-making scenarios in hospitals and large clinical practices. An M.B.A. can also help more senior physicians prepare to transition into leadership or management roles if, and when, they decide to throttle back on practicing clinical medicine.

Meet the new boss—NOT the same as the old boss

A 2001 study showed that students from six M.D./M.B.A. programs possessed a higher tolerance for ambiguity and a greater capacity for handling uncertainty than traditional M.D. students. These characteristics are often associated with leadership ability. This means that physicians with dual degrees have a unique competitive edge in the lucrative hospital administration field in which top leaders have traditionally held M.B.A.s. A study in 2011 found that hospitals employing physicians as CEOs outperformed those with non-medical leadership.

As medicine becomes more of a business, it is essential for physicians to develop a good framework for understanding the ever-changing drivers that can affect them, including insurance reimbursement, budgeting and financial modeling, IT security, marketing strategies and healthcare law, to name just a few. M.B.A. programs can also help physicians learn how to communicate more persuasively and effectively with other decision-makers, including board members and potential investors.

The additional knowledge and skills gained from a healthcare M.B.A. or traditional M.B.A. can go a long way toward helping physicians navigate through an increasingly complex healthcare landscape, while also grooming them to become highly effective leaders. When coupled with an M.D. , an M.B.A. can really set you apart and help pave the way for an eventual foray into leadership roles.

Let Merritt Hawkins’ professional recruiters help you find the perfect physician job today. Simply take a moment to complete our short form and we’ll take it from there. One of our highly experienced recruiters will be in touch to help you find physician or other healthcare opportunities.

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I have read your article about MD's, with MBA and their move into leadership position. Although there might be some valid points to this, leadership position in the executive branch of hospital management is more dependent on who you know that the actual qualification of the person. Most hospital structure do not want MD in the hospital executive suite because if their practical approach towards the practice of medicine which is not the same as the wall street mentality of the hospital operational mentality.
Posted by: Kildare Clarke MD JD MSILR at 9/19/2017 8:23:42 AM

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