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More Physicians Get MBA in Addition to MD


An increasing number of physicians are getting MBAs in addition to MDs in order to succeed as the business of medicine grows more complicated.

An increasing number of physicians are getting MBAs in addition to their medical degrees, explains an article in this Tuesday’s New York Times. Indeed, since the late 1990s, the number of joint MD/MBA programs in the nation has increased from under 10 to 65. The trend is being driven by the need to become more entrepreneurial and savvy as the business of medicine grows more complicated.

Among the MD/MBAs mentioned in the piece is James S. Kuo, who parlayed his MD and MBA degrees into positions managing health care venture capital funds and running a series of small health care companies. Today, he is chief executive of an Ann Arbor, Michigan company that is working to produce new medications to treat diseases of the central nervous system.

In addition to formal MD/MBA programs, many medical schools are offering shorter courses in the business of medicine to help physicians deal with challenges they face in the competitive arena of modern medicine.

The article quotes Mark V. Pauly, head of the health care management program at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, on the ways in which business school can help physicians: “Entrepreneurs have to know how to navigate with the desire of payers to hold down prices and control uses in health care. ... They have to know how to please pointy-headed bureaucrats. This is going to be one of the survival skills in the future in health care.”


Adjusting, More MD’s Add MBA. [New York Times]

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