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 new study co-authored by INQRI co-director Mark V. Pauly. The study was published online by Academic Medicine and is one of the first to assess MD/MBA graduates’ perceptions of how their training has affected their careers. It focuses on physician graduates from the MBA program in health care management at the University of Pennsylvania.
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.
The study’s authors also include David A. Asch, co-director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania and Clinical Scholar Mitesh S. Patel, who was quoted in a statement:
“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.”
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.
The study was also covered on the RWJF Human Capital Blog.