Jul 30 2014
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MBA Degrees Give Physicians a Career Boost

Physicians who have both doctor of medicine (MD) and master of business administration (MBA) degrees reported that their dual training had a positive professional impact, according to a study published online by Academic Medicine. The study, one of the first to assess MD/MBA graduates’ perceptions of how their training has affected their careers, focused on physician graduates from the MBA program in health care management at the University of Pennsylvania.

file Mitesh S. Patel

The MD was more often cited as conveying professional credibility, while 40 to 50 percent of respondents said the MBA conveyed leadership, management, and business skills. Respondents also cited multidisciplinary experience and improved communication between the medical and business worlds as benefits of the two degrees.

“Our findings may have significant implications for current and future physician-managers as the landscape of health care continues to change,” lead author Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a news release. “A study published in 2009 found that among 6,500 hospitals in the United States, only 235 were run by physicians. Moving forward, changing dynamics triggered by national health care reform will likely require leaders to have a better balance between clinical care and business savvy. Graduates with MD and MBA training could potentially fill this growing need within the sector.”

The study’s authors include David A. Asch, MD, MBA, co-director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania; RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative co-director Mark V. Pauly, PhD; June M. Kinney, MA; Mamta S. Patel, BBA; and Vishal Arora.

Read the study, “The Role of MD and MBA Training in the Professional Development of a Physician: A Survey of 30 Years of Graduates From the Wharton Health Care Management Program,” which will also be published in the September issue of Academic Medicine.

Tags: Clinical Scholars, Continuing education, Education and training , Education level, Human Capital, Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative, Job satisfaction, Jobs, Leadership development