MBA In Medicine.

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Dr JPH, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Dr JPH

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    Any residents out there have their MBA?

    I am wondering how, if at all, having your MBA has thus far benefitted your professional life.

    Has it helped you to gain a spot as chief resident?

    Has it helped you to secure an attending spot somewhere?

    Have you gotten job offers primarily because of the MBA?

    Have you been able to more effectively manage your patients, fellow residents, and other medical staff (assuming you have the responsibility of doing so)?

    Also, did the MBA help you to get a residency spot that you otherwise may not have gotten?


    I have the opportunity to get my MBA along with my DO degree, but I am weighing all of the options.

    I am MSI now, so the only thing on my mind is "I want out ASAP!" That's basically the attitude that's keeping me from being 100% for the dual degree.

    Anyone out there wish that had done the same thing when they had the chance (if they had the chance?)

    Any other comments?


    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. gluteus maximus

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    I think I agree with flindophile. One of my relatives is a MD nephrologist with an MBA that he got recently. He now works as the director of a VA hospital (managerial). Also, I have seen senior clinicians opting to do MBA later in their careers rather than early on.
    gm
     
  4. nychick

    nychick Senior Member
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    If you went for the MBA right now, would it only take a few extra credits or would it be another full 2 year MBA course?

    If you have to take another 2 full years, I'd agree with the other posters and say hightail it out of there....

    If not, and you are totally into eventually doing administrative hospital stuff, I guess it could be worthwhile, but really don't see what use it would be in your clinical career.
     
  5. Celiac Plexus

    Celiac Plexus Senior Member
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    Whether the MBA takes 1 year or 2 years is unimportant. If you think that the MBA will be useful in meeting your career goals, then you should earn the MBA now. An extra year or two is nothing in the long run.

    I think it's counterproductive to take the position the MD degree is all-important, and that no other degree is useful for a clinical practice. It's this kind of attitude that gets the medical field in to a lot of trouble. Amazingly physicians think that they live in a bubble and that once they achieve the MD degree, then nothing else matters. Just look at the state of our health care industry today and you can find numerous examples of problems that we face because of this generally myopic view. IMHO, more people should get MBAs, MPHs, PhDs in addition to their MD degrees.
     
  6. Dr JPH

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    It would only be an extra year...extending my first 2 didactic years into 3 years. I wouldn't miss a beat with rotations.

    I am interested in administrative positions at some point, but I also have lofty goals as far as wanting to run and own my own clinic.

    My view is that I should do it now, take the extra year, and go with it.

    I am not sure if doing the MBA later in life will really be feasible.

    I am also looking at the standpoint that the MBA can maybe start me thinking about things during rotations and residency...this way I can use what I learned to begin eyeballing what things I would like to venture into, or for that matter, what things to stay out of.

    I sincrely appreciate all the responses so far. Obviously, the people in charge of the program are pushing it and say all good and no bad.

    Thanks again. I look forward to more ideas.

    BTW: Anyone out there have the MBA that can offer insight??
     
  7. Mindy

    Mindy Senior Member
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    Hey JP! I took a year off between 2nd and 3rd to pursue a post-sophomore fellowship in pathology. I never regretted the extra year, not to mention I changed from wanting to be a family doc to a pathologist. You can never predict how your somewhat impromptu decisions will affect you.

    I also think learning management skills is invaluable to ANY profession you enter, whether you decide to be a pure administrator or not. Also, as mentioned by someone else, we definitely NEED physicians to act as administrators, so that business majors don't make critical decisions for our field. I would indeed look closely at the opportunity.

    Kudos!

    Mindy
     
  8. nychick

    nychick Senior Member
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    QUOTE:
    Also, you should remember that the most important managerial qualities are not taught in school and that most successful managers do not have an MBA. Thus, I would have a specific reason for getting an MBA rather than just collecting a credential.
    ____________________________________________________

    Sorry, haven't figured out how to quote yet. Just remember-- Harvard Business School and McKinsey, the creme de la creme of the business world, gave us Jeff Skilling.

    I think you should look at the program closely, and determine whether it meets you specific need. To what extent can you taylor it to meet it? If you are interested in running your own clinic, for example, you could probably use some training ito entrepeneurship, etc. And I do think that the number of years makes a difference--maybe not in the long run, but as the economists always say, in the long run we're all dead. :laugh:

    My sister got an MBA from NYU in 97. She says that a lot of people who were in the program with her were coming out of these cut-throat bank analyst programs and essentially thought of the MBA as 2-year vacations with study breaks thrown in. They were there to collect the credentials and the network that would help them facilitate a career switch--from consulting to banking or vice versa. From that, it sounds like taking off two years mid-career may not be the ideal solution, but that one year now may be worthwhile.

    I also agree that there is a need for broad-based doctor/managers. I'm just not sure that getting an MBA is the solution to that problem.
     
  9. surg

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    JP-
    honestly I think that if you have to ask the question "should I get an MBA?" The answer is almost always no. I am an resident who is also attending a top 10 MBA program during my lab years. It is an invaluable experience. We also recently started a joint MD-MBA program between our medical school and business school (both top 10 institutions). These students are also doing well in school (we keep a strict lid on how many each year so I know them all).

    However, the thread that ties this together is that all of us had a very clear conception before we started of why we were getting an MBA. For me it had to do with my research goals. I won't speak for our students to preserve their privacy, but I have had extensive discussions with each of them and each had a strong reason for wanting to attend. That being said, it didn't make the decision for them any easier as they faced whether to apply for the match or take lucrative job offers in consulting and banking.

    An MBA degrees value can be partitioned into 3 areas roughly.

    1) Information gained
    This is obvious, but keep in mind that the basic skills can be found in books. This stuff is the prerequisite to success. However, IMHO the more you know before you start, the more you gain from the information because very little of it is formulas and memorization, most is application and generalization from principles. Also the higher the caliber of the MBA school the better information you will get as you can draw on the experiences of your classmates as well in case discussions. I recently had a visiting professor from a second tier MBA program who proclaimed to be extremely excited to finally get to teach concepts that she claimed were beyond her former students at the other program.

    2) People met
    Networking and "soft skills" (teamwork, presentation skills, etc.) are the key to success long term in business. Again, the better the school, often times the better the network.

    3) Credentials improved
    Particularly in an MBA degrees there are varying levels of prestige. (Without an LCME to keep schools from setting up, MBA degree programs are a dime a dozen) With an MD and good grades and scores and some work experience, you can shoot for a top 20 MBA program, and honestly I wouldn't settle for anything less. While a lesser MBA may hold some weight in the medical world, it won't add any prestige over your MD probably in the business world.

    Obviously these are just my thoughts. You are free to disagree with them.
     

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