Louisville Medicine Volume 69, Issue 5 - Page 16

A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR LEADERSHIP
( continued from page 13 ) clinical training . My ultimate goal in enrolling in this program was to be able to practice as a physician while also holding leadership positions , without needing to go back to school after completing residency . Also , due to the accelerated nature of UofL ’ s Full Time MBA program , the additional coursework only added one year to my graduation timeline instead of two , had I pursued the degrees separately .
After completing my first three years of medical school as required by the dual degree program , I began UofL ’ s Full Time MBA in August of 2020 . The Full Time MBA program is an accelerated 13-month cohort and team-based program with classes held every Monday , Wednesday and Friday from 6:00 p . m . to 9:30 p . m . The program also holds full-day learning sessions on select topics on various Saturdays throughout the academic year . The team-based structure of the program allows for an interesting and diverse learning environment and the evening class schedule allows students the opportunity to hold full-time paid internships facilitated by UofL . The curriculum is broken into three semesters totaling 45 credit hours : Fall ( 15 hours ), Spring ( 16.5 hours ), and Summer ( 13.5 hours ).
The Fall curriculum is focused primarily on the foundations of Business Administration with courses covering Strategic and Decision Analysis , Economics , Managerial Accounting , Communications , Technology Management , Finance , Team Building and Inclusive Leadership . The Spring curriculum focuses on the continuation and application of the principles learned in the previous semester with courses covering Organizational Behavior , Marketing , Negotiations , Project , Operations , Strategic and Crisis Management , Business Analytics and Global Business . The Summer Semester is the culmination of the first two semesters and includes a Global Learning trip ( during non-COVID-19 years ), elective courses and a final Capstone research project in which each team in the cohort is assigned a consulting project through UofL ’ s ConsultMBA program .
Because my cohort ’ s participation in the program began and continued throughout the COVID-19 pandemic , the courses and work for internships were primarily completed online . At first , many students were apprehensive about the quality and content of a mostly online MBA program , but the College of Business seamlessly adapted the traditional curriculum to the challenges of a new , dynamic learning environment . Each course instructor went above and beyond to modify the lesson plans to fit our new online format , and to make themselves available virtually to discuss any topics or questions that arose . The online format of team-based work also allowed for asynchronous and real-time collaboration on major group assignments , which facilitated production of high-quality deliverables .
Beyond simply teaching textbook principles on given subjects , the faculty linked the topics to practical real-world applications and challenged our cohort to think deeply on issues through creative group projects and reflective assignments . In each course , I could directly apply the main lessons to some of the most pervasive issues within health care : managing patient and provider satisfaction , improving operational efficiencies , negotiating with health systems and payers and measuring clinical outcomes in order to drive improvement . In practice , the business and leadership skills learned in the MBA program are useful for a wide array of projects related to the business of medicine ranging from the optimization of logistics , technologies and clinical workflows to the overall management of departments , hospitals and broader health systems .
Also during this time , my internship with Humana ’ s Digital Health & Analytics ( DH & A ) team was incredibly rewarding despite the work being completely remote . Our team worked to implement Digital Health and Remote Patient Monitoring care plans and to incorporate data from these projects into artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies . These projects will be used to better assess patient risk at both the individual and population level and to promote timely , effective and tailored patient care in the future . While working for Humana , I was given invaluable experience in understanding the motivations and priorities of commercial payers , implementing cost-effective digital health projects and integrating real-time data into clinical workflows . It is my hope that initiatives like these will become the norm in the future health care landscape . I truly believe such projects represent viable , cost-effective solutions to assist with patient-specific clinical decision making and increased treatment adherence without sacrificing quality of care .
Overall , my experience in the dual degree program was extremely rewarding and I believe it has equipped me with valuable skills I will need and use as a doctor . While the MBA portion of the program is nominally focused on learning business knowledge , it also confers a great deal of experience on topics related to effective leadership and management processes , which I found very relevant to my career goals . In the future landscape of health care , physician-leaders must be excellent clinicians with a meaningful level of business experience and understanding , in order to effect change for patients and providers alike . I would highly recommend that any medical student , physician-in-training or practicing physician interested in gaining more formal exposure and education in business and leadership explore the opportunities provided by the Full Time MBA program at UofL . A background in business or leadership is not necessary to excel in this program . As an MBA student with clinical insight , you will gain invaluable first-hand experience which you can use to do more with less for your patients and to have a greater degree of influence in administrative decisions affecting your practice .
John Dickens is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Louisville who will be applying for residency in emergency medicine .
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