Student Profile: Healthcare Leadership
Roger Goldberg '08
Joint degree candidate, Yale Medical School
Summer internship: Sun Farm Corporation
I have always been interested in many different things. As a Yale undergrad I was a history major but I also completed the premed requirements. I knew I wanted to go to med school, but I was not ready to sign up for four more years of school. Fortunately, I won a fellowship to study abroad, and spent the year after graduation living in the Netherlands, working in a cancer research lab and soaking up as much international experience and perspective as possible. After that, I spent two years in New York, as a consultant for McKinsey. Given my interest in learning about the business side of medicine, I worked primarily for healthcare clients. It was an amazing experience.
Currently, I am finishing my fourth year in the five-year MBA/MD program. I spent the first three years at the medical school, while this past year I was at SOM full time. Next year will be split 50-50 between the two.
In addition to SOMís new integrated core curriculum, my MBA/MD classmates and I also take a class called the Healthcare Leadership Seminar. Most Thursday evenings, a prominent physician who is working in either administration or business or health policy comes to campus for an intimate round-table conversation. We've had the former U.S. Surgeon General, the former CEO of Merck, the chief technology officer at Medtronic, the chief medical officer at Aetna. In addition to discussing topical issues, we talk a lot about careers and career trajectories, and how they got to where they did. Afterwards, a small group will go out to dinner, just five of us and that speaker, and continue the conversation. Itís been one of the highlights of the program.
Many people ask me what I plan on doing with an MBA and an MD. My goal is to be a practicing physician with an overlay of some administrative or business development function. For example, I can see myself as the chairman of an academic department, or as someone who helps translate clinical ideas into commercialized products. I think there's a role for someone who understands the clinical issues at the bedside but also the administrative and market realities.
Iím going to specialize in ophthalmology. I chose it for a number of reasons. I like surgery, the idea of being able to fix something with your hands, but also that ophthalmologists have long-term relationships with patients, which most surgeons donít. Itís also very much technologically driven, which Iím really interested in. But thereís also a public health side, which dovetails with the SOM mission. After infectious diseases, eye care is probably the second largest public health issue worldwide. I expect that there will be lots of opportunities to make a difference throughout my career.
Interviewed on April 17, 2007.