The Kelley School of Business at Indiana University welcomed its inaugural Business of Medicine MBA cohort to program orientation and residency sessions earlier this month, becoming the first top-20 business school in the country to offer a physician-only MBA education.
The full class of 40 physicians hails from throughout the U.S., ranging from nearby Midwestern states, across the South, and as far away as California. The physician students are members of private and group practices, work for health systems, hold academic appointments, lead departments and service lines, actively engage in research and entrepreneurial projects, and hold senior management positions.
“We are thrilled to have such a diverse and accomplished group of doctors joining us as part of our inaugural cohort,” said Vicki Smith-Daniels, Faculty Chair of Graduate Business Programs in Medicine. “The healthcare industry is experiencing enormous change, and I know that the tools you gain in your two years here will help you bring better care at lower costs to your organizations and practices.”
During a morning “get to know you” session, students mingled with each other and Kelley faculty members who will be teaching in the Business of Medicine program. In addition to discussing their backgrounds and interests, students talked about why they joined the MBA program. Overwhelmingly, the most recurring answer was to gain greater understanding of the uncertainty surrounding the evolving healthcare industry.
The morning was highlighted by an address from Kelley Dean Idalene Kesner. Dean Kesner noted that two years from now the Business of Medicine MBA graduates will be among 100,000 active Kelley alumni, the largest such alumni network in the world.
Kesner related her experience last summer when she climbed Mount Elbert in Colorado, the highest peak in the U. S. Rocky Mountain. It provided her with moments of inspiration, uncertainty and truth, and that the students in the Business of Medicine MBA program will experience the same emotions.
“How you handle those emotions will say a lot about your character,” she said. “You will learn as much about yourself during this program as you will about skills and principles behind a business education.
“But there is a holistic approach that is key to the Kelley Brand, the essence of which are these three qualities: Kelleys have the talent to succeed, the humility to grow, and the tenacity to preserve.”
The Business of Medicine MBA program is a specialized program delivered over the course of two years as a blend of in-residency sessions and online learning. The traditional MBA curriculum has been redesigned specifically for the field of healthcare, incorporating six curriculum themes – collaboration, innovation, analytics, transformation, optimization, and sustainability.
“By joining this program, you will become physician leaders who will change the future of healthcare,” remarked Phillip D. Cochran, Executive Associate Dean of the Kelley Indianapolis campus. “I look forward to being a part of your journey through this distinct curriculum and watching you shape the future of the healthcare industry as Kelley alumni.”
During the afternoon orientation session, students were placed into teams and given a two-hour project designed to accelerate the team-learning experience. Students will work within the same team throughout the first three quarters of their MBA experience.
The three-day session concluded with two days of classroom learning. Business of Medicine MBA students will meet once per month for two days of face-to-face instruction.
“I am certain that you are exhausted,” Kelley Professor of Accounting Reed Smith remarked to the class following the final day of the three-day session. “I had one of the most inspiring teaching experiences I have ever had.”