An MBA for the MD

In today’s medical profession, the role of a physician is much more multi-faceted than in the past. Physicians are being called on to perform managerial roles in order to improve the efficiency of hospital systems, team performance, and ultimately patient care. In spite of this, the majority of medical programs put minimal emphasis on managerial and leadership skill-building during their rigorous four year curriculums. As an aspiring physician, I have always been intrigued by healthcare systems, hospital structure, and leadership. As I acquired greater knowledge of the healthcare system, I realized that there is a necessary role which physicians must play in the business and management aspect of medicine if we are to truly work for the best interests of our patients.

Stony Brook University School of Medicine has taken notice of these future necessities in medicine and responded with a dual degree partnership utilizing the Stony Brook University College of Business. This year I was given a tremendous opportunity as the first medical student to pursue the MD/MBA dual degree track at Stony Brook University. This five year joint program between the Stony Brook University School of Medicine and the Stony Brook University College of Business allots one year of full time MBA course work and integration of MBA coursework into the 4th year of medical school. As a medical professional, you can select the health care concentration, which grants you an Advanced Certificate in healthcare management, or opt for more traditional concentrations such as entrepreneurship, finance, or marketing.

Upon beginning the MBA program, I expected the core curriculum to have minimal application to the medical realm. However, the MBA curriculum is very dynamic, as it must be, in order to remain applicable to the evolving business environment. With increasing national concern for the state of healthcare in this country, the MBA program has integrated healthcare and medical application into the majority of their courses. During my first semester I have been delighted at the regular effort to relate business concepts to the inner workings of the hospital and the healthcare system. I look forward to the advanced integration of this knowledge as I progress into coursework designed specifically for healthcare.

The MBA program draws an academically and culturally diverse group of students. Many of the my fellow business students will be the future Chief Financial Officers, Health Policy Specialists, and Hospital Administrators for national and global healthcare systems alike. Having the opportunity to work closely with these individuals in the business school environment, which focuses on team based performance, has allowed me to gain a realistic understanding of the issues of healthcare from a multitude of perspectives represented in the healthcare system. As a future leader in medicine, I believe this level of understanding is necessary to solve the current and future issues in healthcare; the experiences I am gaining now will be invaluable to my career in medicine.

Although I am undecided as to how I will choose to apply my business degree to my medical career, I know my options are limitless. The most obvious applications include pursuing health care administrative roles or the opening of private clinical practices, however there are a multitude of opportunities in areas such as medical consulting, biotechnology, clinical and pharmaceutical research and marketing, just to name a few. So whether students choose to lead a hospital, open an urgent care center, or serve on the forefront of collaboration and change in the many frontiers of the healthcare system, the MD/MBA program here at Stony Brook equips our students with the necessary skills to succeed. I would like to thank Stony Brook University School of Medicine for this opportunity and encourage my medical colleagues to consider exploration of this great and professionally versatile degree program.

Obinna Anthony Ndum, Jr. - MS IV

MD/MBA Candidate, Class of 2013
Stony Brook University School of Medicine
Stony Brook University College of Business

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