The Wayne State University School of Medicine has introduced a new joint degree program in which medical students can earn a master’s of business administration degree concurrently with their four-year medical degree.
The curriculum will provide students with core courses in both medicine and business, as well as supporting elective courses in each field, and specialized courses in both. Upon successful completion of the program, students will be prepared for employment as physicians and in a wide range of additional settings in the public and private sector.
The program is a partnership between the WSU School of Medicine and WSU’s Mike Ilitch School of Business.
“The joint M.D.-M.B.A. program will open career pathways to leadership roles in hospital administration, to more effective participation in health care policy research and policy development, and to opportunities with pharmaceutical, medical device, health tech and insurance companies,” said Mark E. Schweitzer, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine. “This program also opens the door to entrepreneurial endeavors ranging from the creation of a private practice to the establishment of a non-profit focused on efforts to address health disparities, to a potential role of founder or medical advisor to health care startups.”
The joint degree program launched this month by offering first-year medical students the option to apply to and enroll in the Business of Medicine elective, which runs October through March.
Several M.D.-M.B.A. programs already exist at other medical schools, but the majority are five-year programs, which require medical students to pull out of their medical education programs for a year, delaying graduation and the start of residency programs. WSU allows students to complete both degrees in four years.
“The health care industry is a large and complex component of both our local and global economy,” said Bob Forsythe, Ph.D., dean of the Wayne State University School of Business. “This new program provides a wonderful opportunity for our Ilitch School faculty to work alongside the outstanding members of WSU’s medical school faculty to provide future physicians with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the business of health care as well as the practice of medicine. We look forward to developing additional course offerings and programs for physicians and others in the health care professions.”
Medical students enrolled in the program will take M.B.A. courses concurrently during the 18-month Pre-Clerkship and 14-month Post-Clerkship phases of their medical degree education. Students are first granted admission to the medical degree program and then apply to the M.B.A. program during their first year of study. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits for the M.B.A. degree, with nine credits transferred from the M.D. program. Nine credit hours are double-counted to fulfill requirements for both degrees, saving students time and money.
Students enrolled at the School of Medicine expressed strong interest in the opportunity to earn a joint M.D.-M.B.A. Physicians who have both a medical degree and master’s of business administration degree will be highly sought for leadership positions at hospitals, health care systems, and health and medical-related businesses.
The Association of American Medical Colleges reports that students who select an M.D.-M.B.A. program often develop careers in medicine with clinical and administrative responsibilities. The M.B.A. coursework prepares them to administer clinics and medical centers, manage health care organizations, and become more effective advocates for patients while striving to improve the health care system.