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Physician MBA Program revamped to position physicians nationwide for health care leadership

Innovative program from IU Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis addresses health care’s biggest issues

For Immediate Release Apr 15, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The only physician-only MBA program from a top-ranked business school has launched new innovations to make the program more accessible to physicians nationwide while also enhancing curriculum to prepare physicians to be the voice of health care reform.

The program's changes, developed by Kelley faculty members in collaboration with Physician MBA alumni, provide greater flexibility, e... The program's changes, developed by Kelley faculty members in collaboration with Physician MBA alumni, provide greater flexibility, enhanced learning experiences and increased relevance in the dynamic business-of-medicine landscape.

For 10 years, the Physician MBA Program at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business has equipped physicians nationwide with the business and management skills required to implement process, performance, policy and people solutions. These skills help graduates assume leadership roles within health care to address a system often described as complicated, dysfunctional and broken. This includes many issues exposed and intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as struggling financial performance and physician burnout.

“Health care in the U.S. needs to be more efficient, and we believe the path to efficiency is through MBA-educated physicians,” said Julie Manning Magid, vice dean of the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis. “With the Physician MBA, physicians emerge as leaders with the full skillset to transform individual institutions, the broad health care field and, most importantly, patient outcomes.”

The program’s changes, developed by Kelley faculty members in collaboration with Physician MBA alumni, provide greater flexibility, enhanced learning experiences and increased relevance in the dynamic business-of-medicine landscape. Highlights include:

  • Flexibility: The program will reduce in-person class sessions to three days every three months to better accommodate physician schedules and allow for effective applied learning with peers, industry experts and health care leaders.
  • Leadership opportunity: Four major hands-on, in-person immersion experiences will be offered throughout the program, including a five-day leadership residency; an individual process improvement project focused on transforming the delivery of health care; and a hands-on capstone consulting project focused on solving a health care challenge at the student’s organization.
  • Curriculum: Stronger course integration will enhance student learning. A new block of courses has also been introduced to addresses the relationship between leadership, operations, marketing, finance and strategy.
  • Executive coaching: Access to an executive coach will be available throughout the program. Developmental coaching and strategic career planning will also be available throughout the program, as well as after graduation.
  • Communications: New and expanded courses on topics such as crisis communication, media interviews and advanced persuasion techniques will enhance physicians’ leadership with strategies for communicating effectively in times of change, crisis and opportunity.

Physicians say they pursue an MBA so they can learn the “business of medicine,” explaining that while they have profound medical knowledge, they don’t have the business acumen needed to lead significant health care change. The 21-month Kelley Physician MBA is designed so physicians can apply new business knowledge and skills in real time, which has resulted in about half of students consistently promoted within the first year of the program and developing into influential leaders in various health care organizations.

“The Kelley Physician MBA stands apart for its curriculum and the integration of physicians, renowned business professors and industry thought leaders — all who are committed to changing how health care is delivered,” said Magid, who has taught business law and health care policy in the program since its inception. “Our graduates leave the program with the tools to solve health care problems and influence its future.”

The revised Physician MBA program will officially kick off in fall 2024.

How IU is shaping the future of health care

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Kelley School of Business Indianapolis

Melissa Thomas

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