Like many physicians, Christopher Day, MD, MBA’16, used to dread hospital changes he could not control. As a radiologist, he found the fragmented, disconnected delivery of patient care frustrating and dissatisfying. Dr. Day decided to pursue an MBA in the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program at the top-ranked Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
“I needed to acquire skill sets that I could not develop on my own, and I needed a structured environment in which to acquire them,” he said.
Dr. Day enrolled in the physician-only MBA program with a desire to better understand the rapidly changing healthcare environment and to become more effective leading his group through challenging times.
“My outlook has changed since earning the Kelley Physician MBA. Now, I can see the problems our system is facing with greater clarity, and I look forward to using my business toolkit to improve our system,” he said. “Now, I understand how I can be a positive voice of change—to better integrate our system and to provide a better continuum of care for our patients.”
An experienced radiologist and practice leader, Dr. Day was appointed chief financial officer of Radiology Associates of Southern Indiana. He felt ready to lead but unprepared to do so.
“I felt inadequate in this position, relying on direction from people who had no clinical background. There was a constant disconnect,” he says. “Now, my interactions are more powerful. I understand the complex environment, and I can communicate more effectively and participate actively in the practice’s strategic direction.”
While enrolled in the Kelley Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program, Dr. Day was able to apply what he learned directly in his role at the radiology practice.
“I calculated the financial feasibility of several expansion projects to determine if they made good business sense, rather than relying solely on intuition,” he said. “We were able to successfully launch a new women’s imaging department with a greater understanding of our competitive market, allowing us to be proactive instead of reactive. The skills I gained in my Kelley MBA have helped us better forecast business shifts.”
Outside of the practice, Dr. Day says the leadership skills he gained in the Kelley Physician MBA have improved his capability as a board member at the local community hospital.
“I’ve become much more effective alongside my fellow board members in helping lead the hospital through a successful merger into a larger network, which allows us to continue caring for our community,” he said. “Without the business knowledge the Kelley School gave me, I would not have grasped most of the concepts necessary to negotiate a merger like this.”
Dr. Day says learning these healthcare business concepts alongside other experienced physicians from all over the country, who represent a variety of specialties, enriched the educational experience.
“My interaction with fellow classmates has been phenomenal. The Kelley School provides an environment that allows for maximum interaction with a variety of physicians, which I think is the best way to learn,” he said. “We learned as much from each other as we do from the outstanding Kelley professors.”
Dr. Day earned his MBA in 2016, but the learning did not end there. He has continued to participate in alumni courses offered through the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program. After completing their degrees, alumni have opportunities to attend featured speaker events, take alumni courses and travel on global healthcare study trips.
“Attending the alumni courses helped me to continue networking with both the professors and colleagues I met during the MBA program,” he said. “I look forward to continuing to enhance my leadership skills while staying current on the ever-changing landscape of the business of medicine. I truly appreciate the opportunity Kelley provides to extend my business education.”