Vicki Smith-Daniels, faculty chair of graduate business programs in medicine and professor of operations and supply chain management at the Kelley School of Business, appeared on the “Price of Business” radio program with Houston talk show host Kevin Price. Smith-Daniels joined Price to discuss the school’s new Business of Medicine MBA for practicing physicians. She spoke on a variety of topics, including the program’s target market and how instruction will be delivered.
To learn more about the Kelley Business of Medicine MBA, read below a transcript of the interview or explore our website, where you can participate in a virtual information session, discover more about the MBA curriculum, or sign up for a personal consultation.
Kevin Price: All right, speaking of obstacles, there seems like there’s been a lot thrown up in the healthcare field today, and a person who helps individuals navigate through that is Vicki Smith-Daniels. Interesting topic here, an MBA Rx for doctors, a new hybrid program set to make 181,000 Houston healthcare employees better leaders. Vicki, welcome to the program.
Vicki Smith-Daniels: Thank you very much, Kevin.
Price: Give us a little bit of a background about yourself before we get started on your topic.
Smith-Daniels: I am the faculty chairperson for Graduate Business Programs in Medicine at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. I have been working in the healthcare area for approximately the last 10 years. I am a professor of operations and supply chain management, and I’m very excited to talk with you today about the new program that we’re launching for practicing physicians.
Price: So tell us a little bit about the program itself. Give us a little bit of an overview of it.
Smith-Daniels: This program is a hybrid program where physicians will attend courses in Indianapolis one weekend a month, and it will be complemented instruction with online. The Kelley School of Business has been an online MBA leader for the past 13 years.
Price: Wow. Who would have thought that long? That’s amazing.
Smith-Daniels: Yes, it is. The Kelley Direct program has been quite successful and we’re going to build off of that great success in launching this program to practicing physicians.
Price: So typically most of the people who will enter this, or as a prerequisite for entering it, is that you have to have medical doctor degree?
Smith-Daniels: You need to have an MD or a DO. We are targeted for mid-career physicians. Those are folks that are between 40 and 55 years of age. However, we do have current members of our inaugural cohort that are under 40 and over 55. We’re looking for physicians that are in clinical practice. We’re looking for physicians that are at this time managing service lines or taking greater governance in their health systems, in terms of making business decisions around the changes that are happening in healthcare today.
Price: So I’m reading a huge number of articles out there about medical doctors who are simply thinking about getting out of the healthcare field just because it’s becoming more and more challenging for people to make it financially successful. Is this designed to help them have more of an edge to be successful in healthcare, or do you see it possibly being used as a tool for people who want to transition out of practicing medicine but still want to be involved in healthcare?
Smith-Daniels: I think it’s both, Kevin. We are seeing from the doctors who are reaching out to us about our MBA program that they really fall into the two categories that you’ve talked about. There are doctors in clinical practice, they want to be leaders in addressing the opportunities that are ahead. They may be in private practice and have a contract with a health system, or they may be one of the new physicians that is now an employee of a health system or an Accountable Care Organization, and they really want to take it to the next level.
In addition, we are seeing physicians with tremendous clinical practice (experience). They could be involved in new medical devices, life sciences or clinical practice. And they’re actually coming to us looking for a new career, where they can move outside of clinical practice and move into the broader healthcare industry and try to impact it in new ways.
Price: Now is this entirely done online, this new MBA program?
Price: Oh, I see it’s a hybrid.
Smith-Daniels: Hybrid is a term that’s used quite frequently and it has different meanings. When we look at the time the physicians will spend in the learning experience it’s a little over 50 percent face-to-face and the rest of it is online. We are, however, moving to trying to use iPad technology (through iTunes U) for these physicians so that they’ll be able to bring learning into their day when they have some down time.
Price: Are people having to do the face-to-face in Indiana or is Indiana going to be coming to Houston? How’s that going to work?
Smith-Daniels: We are going to be having most of our weekend sessions in Indianapolis, which is a vibrant city with a lot of opportunities in the downtown area, not just for our educational experience but to participate in sports events and many other things that are going on in the downtown area.
Price: And how will they come? Will they stay for several weeks at a time? Kind of explain how that will work out.
Smith-Daniels: Basically we have already identified, for the given year, 24 residency sessions that are happening every month. So, beginning of the month they’d be in Indianapolis on a Friday and Saturday, and then they’d go back to their online instruction for about three weeks, then come back to us in Indianapolis for a face-to-face type of learning pedagogy.
Price: What kind of time frame from beginning to end do you anticipate for completing?
Smith-Daniels: We are moving these physicians through in a cohort, which means they’ll all be taking approximately the same classes together. And it will be a two-year, around the calendar experience.
Price: So in roughly two years they should be able to get it done?
Smith-Daniels: Absolutely. And we’re to make sure that within that two years they are being productive and maximizing their learning. So we’ve designed this delivery system, not only to be the traditional experience, but to be one where we can support physicians and their learning experience by providing additional services like our iPad learning experience.
Price: Very interesting. I want to encourage people to get more information about it. … Kelley MBA. That’s a great, well-known MBA. … I appreciate you being with us. I encourage people to get more information. If you’re a doctor or know a doctor who has some angst, and I don’t know a single doctor who isn’t angsted by the Obamacare program, you might want to point them in this direction. Thanks so much for being with us, doctor.
Smith-Daniels: Thank you so much, Kevin.