Doc MBA grads report professional advantages

The number of medical MBA programs increased five-fold over the past 20 years, and research shows that this business training has a positive impact on physician careers, according to a study published in Academic Medicine.

Specifically, physician graduates from the MBA program in healthcare management at Perelman School of Medicine and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania reported benefits such as career acceleration, professional flexibility and credibility in multidisciplinary domains, according to an announcement. In addition, respondents said that the combination of degrees helped to inform their overall business and medical perspectives, supply multidisciplinary experience and improve communication between the medical and business worlds.

More recent dual graduates stay primarily in clinical work longer than their counterparts who graduated in the 2000s or earlier. Fewer than 20 percent of respondents whose role is primarily non-clinical reported that "hospital administration" or "care-provider organization" was their primary work sector. More commonly, these MD-MBAs reported working in nonclinical fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, business start-up, venture capital, investment banking, hedge funds, marketing, consulting, government, insurance, managed care, philanthropy and non-profits, researchers noted.

"Physicians with training in management are now an essential part of the healthcare workforce," said David A. Asch, M.D., senior author and professor of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine and professor of healthcare management at Wharton. "In 2014, we know that advances in health and healthcare are as likely to come from changes in the organization, management and financing of healthcare as they are from fundamental discoveries from the basic sciences. We need all kinds of contributions to advance national goals in health," he added.

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- see the abstract