fastfingers

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I'm still currently a premed and after volunteering in a free clinic, it would be really interesting if I could set up my own free clinic in the future after serving as a doctor for a while. The question I have is, would getting an MD/MBA be the best option for me if my goal was to become a doctor, maybe do some overseas work and maybe work to set up several free clinics?

If anybody also know, how does a free clinic manage to self-sustain?
 

drizzt3117

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You don't need a MBA to set up a free clinic. You just need to ask a lot of people for time/money.
 

Hoody

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Its all about grants....and time.

You can run an clinic without an MBA (or even an MD - my local free clinic is run by nurses with BSNs) but it certainly wouldn't hurt if you had some sort of background in business to help you navigate all the politics....or you could just find someone who has an MBA and make it a joint venture.
 

LizzyM

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Typically, or I should say historically, the best preparation is a MPH with a concentration in Management. The MPH puts the focus on improving health in the community whereas the MBA puts the focus on making money. You may need Accounting I and II to get into a MPH with a concentration in Management.
 

goldandapager

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A degree isn't going to give you the ability to these sorts of things. What you need is some resources, good people around, and motivation.
 

SweetRain

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I would say that an MD/MPH would be more helpful if anything. I also volunteer at a free clininc and I shadowed the medical director there who is an MD/MPH. I was also interested in doing the same thing in the future and he told me that it has helped him in writing grants and such because his concentration was on health policy and community health.
Not only that, if that's what you're interested in, MPH program should give you a new perspective on medicine. I'm very glad you want to serve the underserved population and trying to figure out the details. We need more doctors like you :)
 

Law2Doc

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A degree isn't going to give you the ability to these sorts of things.
This is especially true with an MBA. An MBA is not a degree where they teach you basic business skills. An MBA is a graduate program that folks go into to hone existing business skills. It's unlike an MD or JD in that it's not meant as an entry into a profession, it's meant to enhance folks who already are in a field. This is why the better MBA programs usually only accept people who already have a business oriented job, and why the vast majority of folks in MBA programs are there on thier employer's dime. So no, you aren't going to learn how to run a small business in an MBA program. You are far better off hiring a lawyer and an accountant to help you set up and run a small business.
 
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This is especially true with an MBA. An MBA is not a degree where they teach you basic business skills. An MBA is a graduate program that folks go into to hone existing business skills. It's unlike an MD or JD in that it's not meant as an entry into a profession, it's meant to enhance folks who already are in a field. This is why the better MBA programs usually only accept people who already have a business oriented job, and why the vast majority of folks in MBA programs are there on thier employer's dime. So no, you aren't going to learn how to run a small business in an MBA program. You are far better off hiring a lawyer and an accountant to help you set up and run a small business.
good points. question: does the employer ever pick up the tab for an MBA in the medical field? Say a doctor has an interest in getting involved in the administration of a hospital, would the hospital pay for business school?
 

LizzyM

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good points. question: does the employer ever pick up the tab for an MBA in the medical field? Say a doctor has an interest in getting involved in the administration of a hospital, would the hospital pay for business school?
With the exception of some hospitalists, most physicians don't work for the hospital. Those who are academics may have a tuition benefit through the university.

Physicians I've known who have done an MBA have done executive programs (one weekend a month or something similar) or night school programs.
 

fastfingers

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thanks for all the great answers.

is there a difference between the md/mba program and mba program in terms of just the mba aspect?

so from what i understand, free clinic is really dependent on grants and government help?

has any clinics also tried to work on self-sustaining clinics? as in, people with health insurance help fund people without health insurance and thus, the clinic becomes not grant dependent? of course this still requires lots of volunteer doctor, but at least it won't be as grant dependent.
 

fastfingers

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with so many govt cuts, i've always thought of somehow setting up nonprofit clinics somehow and I figured an MD/MBA might be good for that. i feel like grant-dependent clinics seems like it might be a huge headache.
 

LizzyM

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Unless you work for the fed govt in the the VA system.
Actually, all the docs I know who work for the VA are university faculty and the VA and university and university group practice income is bundled into a single paycheck issued by the university.

The VA isn't big on funding additional degrees for docs who work for it.

Here's an example of a huge, and hugely successful "free clinic" that also treats patients with insurance: http://www.lawndale.org/aboutus.html
 

Hoody

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Actually, all the docs I know who work for the VA are university faculty and the VA and university and university group practice income is bundled into a single paycheck issued by the university.
You are absolutely correct....but I still suspect the majority of physicians working for the VA are paid by the VA. I only know of one clinical pharmacists who directs the pharmacy residents who is in the situation you mention. 40% of her salary comes from the VA and 60% of her salary comes from the affiliated university.

Obviously the number of university affiliated physicians/clinicians varies by VA. My facility is relatively tiny (and only affiliated with one Family Res program) so that could explain why there are so few around here.
The VA isn't big on funding additional degrees for docs who work for it.
Odd. That seems like all the VA does here.....this probably varies by VISN as well.
 

fastfingers

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would setting up a free clinic that accepts insurance be more suitable for an md/mba than a md/mph?

how do md/mba usually help?
 

LizzyM

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MPH puts the bottom line focus on the health of the population. That is the over-riding value.

MBA puts the bottom line focus on making money for the organization. That is the over-riding value.


An MPH in management is going to require a background in accounting and is going to focus on such things as
Management and Finance,
Quality improvement,
Health Services Research,
Pharmaceutical and Medical Technology
Organizational Behavior and Leadership,
Health Policy,
Information and Operations Management,
Managed Care.

Many people running "free clinics" have MPH degrees with a concentration in management. The common term is Federal Qualified Health Clinic and you can learn more from this interesting web site:
http://www.raconline.org/info_guides/clinics/fqhcfaq.php