Healthcare Leadership in U.S. Changing with Growth of MBA Physicians Says New Yale School of Management Study
New Haven, CT, April 1, 2003 - A new Yale School of Management study finds
evidence of significant change in health care leadership in the United States. The number of
MBA-trained physicians is increasing dramatically and mirrors the rise in the number of MD/MBA
programs in the last decade.
The study, by David B. Larson, MD, MBA, Maria Chandler, MD, MBA, and Howard P. Forman, MD, MBA, appeared in Academic Medicine (Vol. 78, No. 3, March 2003), and looked at the rise in the number and nature of affiliations between management and medicine in the form of MD/MBA programs in the United States. It found a strong and relatively sudden demand for management training from the outset of physicians' careers.
Medical professionals have increasingly advocated applying management techniques to the delivery of health care, in order to improve patient safety, health care quality, organizational design and effectiveness, and even clinical decision making. To acquire the skills necessary for all of this, physicians have sought out MBA degrees, even in the form of pursuing medical and business degrees at the same time.
The research team surveyed the admissions officers of 125 U.S. medical schools and the overseers of each joint MD/MBA degree program. It not only looked at the growth in the number of programs, but also the curriculum and degree requirements, application and admissions requirements, and program leadership and organization.
According to the study, the number of MD/MBA programs grew from six to 33 between 1993 and 2001, with 17 additional medical schools now considering establishing such programs. Over 100 students are expected to graduate per year when all 33 programs reach capacity, which would rival the number of graduating students entering some medical specialties.
Most MD/MBA programs attempt to complement medical education with business education rather than the converse. However, Yale's program is unique in that it integrates the two programs fully - training at the medical school and at the business school. Medical students are actively engaged in leadership studies from their time of acceptance into the Yale School of Management. Joint-degree students continue to participate in clinical activities. Indeed, one of the distinguishing features of the Yale joint-degree program is that graduates typically go on to clinical residencies, and nearly all of Yale's students participate in healthcare-related internships including work within government, academic medicine, and not-for-profit organizational work.
"This year, our second group of graduating students has "matched" for their residencies, with five students pursuing continuing medical training at Johns Hopkins University (two students; one for ophthalmology and one for internal medicine), the Brigham and Woman's Hospital (Internal Medicine), the University of Pennsylvania (Diagnostic Radiology), and Cornell Medical Center (Internal Medicine)," said Dr. Howard Forman, Director of the program and the senior investigator of the current study. "Last year our students continued their training at Yale (Orthopedics), Massachusetts General Hospital (Dermatology) and Colorado (Diagnostic Radiology). While other programs see themselves as training students in health services management, we believe we offer more. Our students will be leaders in improving health and health care in this country, through the use of expert clinical skills and substantive management science training."
Howard P. Forman is Associate Professor of Diagnostic Radiology and Management at Yale.
He is a health service researcher specializing in health care labor markets. His most recent publications address the means of measuring the current market for Radiologists and the incentives that medical students respond to, in choosing a specialty. Professor Forman is a lecturer in the Economics Department of Yale College and is the coordinator of the MD/MBA program between Yale School of Medicine and Yale School of Management. As a practicing cross-sectional and Emergency/Trauma Radiologist and Vice Chair for Finance and Administration of the Department of Radiology at the Yale Medical School, he is actively involved in patient care and issues related to financial administration, healthcare compliance, and contracting. He has, most recently, worked in the United States Senate on Medicare legislation.
David B. Larson is a resident physician in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado. He is a 2002 graduate of Yale's joint MD/MBA program.
"MD/MBA Programs in the United States: Evidence of a Change in Health Care Leadership" by David B. Larson, MD, MBA; Maria Chandler, MD, MBA; and Howard P. Forman, MD, MBA, Academic Medicine, Vol. 78, No. 3, March 2003.
Media contact: Howard Forman, Yale School of Management, and the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; tel. (203) 785-5252, fax (203) 785-7015, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.