For years, the JD/MBA was the standard for dual degree MBA programs.  With law degrees waning in popularity, schools have become more creative in combining the MBA with other graduate degrees.  A recent trend is the MD/MBA.  What’s up, Doc?

Medical school is expensive.  And long.  Despite the high price tag of MBA programs, medical school still holds the record for most expensive graduate programs.  Often, doctors begin their careers with $300K-$500K in student loans.  Yikes.  When combined with the enormous time commitment of medical school, there has been very few MD candidates interested in tacking on an MBA degree. Technology and the ever-expanding complexities of running a healthcare business or facility has created new demands, however, for business skills among the MD population.

Business schools have address the intersection of medicine and business by streamlining an MBA into just three semesters of classwork. 

By skipping the additional semester of classroom work and the internship, MD candidates have taken to the bolt-on MBA as a viable option.  Of course schools which already have a medical school have pioneered the practice, but we have seen schools without any medical affiliation partnering with medical schools to offer students the chance to get solid business education in concert with their MD.  Schools generally add the year-and-a-half after the third year of medical school, before internships begin and the MD degree is finalized.  Schools are generally flexible, however, knowing that the MD degree is a long and complicated process.

What do doctors do with their MBAs? 

Many have gone on to run hospitals or even make it to the c-level in pharmaceutical or medical device companies.  Others have launched companies of their own as they leverage their MBA to commercialize a medical practice or device.  No matter how doctors decide to use their MBA, it’s the schools themselves who also benefit, since having medical students in the classroom adds a level of student diversity that has generally been missing in years past.  Doctors have been generally absent from the MBA classroom because they had invested too much time and money into their education and want to get out there and start making money to pay it all off. 

If you are a medical student with dreams of turning your healthcare knowledge into a business tool, then perhaps the MD/MBA is for you?

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