Doctors already go through enough schooling. But in today’s uncertain health care environment, a physician MBA may be a worthwhile investment.
It used to be that doctors only had to focus on patient care, but as health care reform transforms the economics of medicine, it pays to know a little something about business.
“In a healthcare MBA degree, physicians learn all of the same concepts a regular MBA student would learn, but applied to the healthcare industry,” said Nancy Borkowski, Executive Director of the Health Management Program at Florida International University. “Doctors need to understand processes, so they can learn to run their practices more efficiently.”
“Since business training is about learning to measure and enhance value delivery, the business-trained physician can apply those principles to his or her practice and the broader profession,” said Nunes. “We listen to our patients and study the areas in which life quality and longevity is most required (marketing research). We organize methods to engineer that value at a reasonable cost (product development, leadership, management), and we design sustainable methods to deliver those methods to patients (marketing distribution, accounting, operations management, and leadership).”
According to Borkowski, while medical schools focus deeply on patient care, they rarely delve into issues related to the business side of running a practice. This makes healthcare MBA degrees perfect for small practice physicians who don’t have the resources to hire a financial manager.
“Small practice physicians have similar problems to large practices. However, one advantage large practices usually have is a professional administrator, who probably has some form a healthcare MBA,” said Borkowski. “Because small practices don’t have this person, they have to be educated in regards to corporate finances, revenue cycle management, leadership skills and work processes.”
Physicians looking into taking supervisory roles should also consider the advantages of a health-related MBA degree. Not only do these degrees make them better at running the day-to-day operations of the practice setting, but opens the possibility of taking on higher-level administrative roles at large health organizations.