The Dual MD/MBA Degree: Making the Decision
August 4, 2011
The reality of the current healthcare system in the United States is that costs are rising to out-of-control levels, quality of care is increasingly deficient and millions of Americans are without access to care. Traditional education for healthcare administrators has centered on business practices and organizational financial needs. Likewise, medical professionals tend to lack the business acumen necessary to effectively run healthcare facilities. The need to bridge the gap between healthcare administration and clinical care is more prevalent now than ever.
The last decade has created changes in technology that have effectively increased the availability of educational resources. The need for medically trained leadership has driven educational institutions to diversify and add business focused classroom training to traditional medical degrees. The combination of these two factors has reduced some of the barriers to entry when enhancing an existing Medical degree or choosing a career that focuses on leadership within the medical community.
The cost of education continues to rise as the government cuts back on state and federal aid to support education. Business has also cut back on spending to support its employees in their continuing education needs.
To facilitate change, many universities now offer the dual Doctor of Medicine and Masters of Business Administration degrees. With the state of both the economy and healthcare in general and the rising need for a solution to the dichotomy of administrative leadership versus clinical expertise, despite the rising costs of education, now may be an ideal time to consider a pursuing an MD/MBA designation. Initial Considerations
Making the decision to pursue a dual degree which results in an MD/MBA designation is both a personal and professional choice with several variables to consider. There are many advantages to having dual MD/MBA degrees and obtaining the combination has become increasingly more accessible with the passing of each year. Making the decision to pursue a dual degree has some short term considerations that will have an immediate impact on the individual. There are also long-term considerations that need to be accounted for before concluding the dual MD/MBA combination is the right choice.
The reality of the current healthcare system is that the costs of care are skyrocketing, there are marked deficits in quality of care and millions do not have access to proper healthcare because a great majority are either uninsured or underinsured to receive proper care. The population is aging as a whole and the need for appropriate healthcare is increasing. The problems that our healthcare system face today are only compounded by the increased control of healthcare policy by individuals that are not medically trained. Together, these points are some of the major driving factors contributing to the increased demand for the MD/MBA degree combination. It was stated in an article entitled; Current opportunities for the development of leadership skills for doctors;
" The increasing demands on healthcare services
throughout the world have highlighted the need for
more leadership training for physicians, to enable them
to provide guidance within their practices and the medical
community in general. It is said that the public no longer
takes it for granted that doctors know best, and faced with
increased accessibility to medical care, the rising cost of
healthcare provision, scrutiny of the medical–industrial
complex and the relentless advance of medical research,
the medical profession is at increasing risk of just reacting
to rather than preempting events" (Kabir, Potty & Sharma,
With an increased demand for individuals who have...