Harvard University to Introduce Fully Integrated Joint MD/MBA Degree Program
BOSTON — In September 2005, Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Harvard Business School (HBS) will launch a five-year joint MD/MBA degree program aimed at producing new generations of leaders uniquely prepared to face the challenges of an increasingly complex and constantly changing health care environment. The innovative joint MD/MBA program will be a welcome addition to Harvard’s long-established family of joint masters programs that includes HMS joint programs in partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health and the John F. Kennedy School of Government (KSG); and HBS joint programs in partnership with Harvard Law School and KSG.
With U.S. national health expenditure tipping 1.6 trillion dollars in 2002, a 9.3 percent increase from 2001, and a dollar figure that represents 14.9 percent of GDP, there is a strong need for medical practitioners to understand the fundamentals of management. To prepare our medical students for the realities of modern medicine and to emphasize the great contributions they can make, it’s appropriate we offer physicians-in-training an opportunity to study management as they pursue their medical studies, said HMS dean Joseph Martin. HBS dean Kim Clark concurs. Medicine and business have long been intertwined, said Clark. But today, with the extraordinary promise of emerging medical technologies, sweeping changes in the delivery of health care, and the push to control the cost of medications, the need for leaders firmly grounded in both fields has never been greater.
The goal of Harvard’s joint MD/MBA program far exceeds merely providing medical students with an understanding of potential management applications in the medical workplace. The new joint program’s mission is to develop outstanding physician leaders, skilled in both medicine and management, who will seek out positions of influence. These leaders will then be positioned to contribute substantially to the well-being of individuals and society nationally and globally.
To further its stated aim of generating health care leaders, the joint MD/MBA degree will prepare students for careers not only in health care management, such as heading up hospitals and large medical practices, but also in health-care related areas. These include careers in companies that research and develop drugs, build medical devices, or in related professions such as those that advise and inform investors interested in the health care sector. By encouraging students to consider a variety of career paths, the program will build on what is already in motion at HMS, where the diversity of interests and careers of HMS students has expanded considerably over the past decade.
Currently several U.S. medical schools offer joint medical/management degrees. As well as differing from a number of joint MD/MBA programs offered elsewhere by encouraging career diversity, the HMS/HBS program stands apart in another significant way. The five-year curriculum has been designed to foster intellectual integration of the medical and management disciplines throughout the five years. Students will spend the first three years at HMS, the fourth year at HBS, and the fifth year divided between HBS and HMS, with the management perspective, introduced as a prematriculation online module, becoming increasingly pervasive during the first three years at HMS, and culminating in a fully integrated medical/management fifth year.
The joint program had its genesis some years ago. Over the course of a couple of decades, a dozen or so HMS students have earned separate degrees from HMS and HBS. But a major difference between the pioneering days and the new program is that students will be accepted concurrently to the joint MD/MBA program. Matriculation into the program will be challenging because applicants must apply to and be accepted by each school independently. However, once the program starts in the fall of 2005, previously enrolled students in both schools may take the course offerings and some of those students may subsequently decide to apply to the joint program.
Come fall of 2005, the first class of Harvard’s joint MD/MBA will matriculate. An exciting new program awaits them. A program that will prepare them for the medicine of tomorrow and enable them to reach beyond traditional boundaries. Moreover, by enhancing the general learning environment, the MD/MBA program will provide the opportunity for all students, not just those enrolled in the new program, to better appreciate the critical importance of strong management skills in improving the U.S. health care delivery system.
Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School has more than 5,000 full-time faculty working in eight academic departments based at the School’s Boston quadrangle or in one of 47 academic departments at 17 Harvard teaching hospitals and research institutes. Those Harvard hospitals and research institutions include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Cambridge Hospital, Center for Blood Research, Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Joslin Diabetes Center, Judge Baker Children’s Center, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Mental Health Center, McLean Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, VA Boston Healthcare System.
Harvard Business School
Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School (www.hbs.edu) is located in Boston and offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as a portfolio of more than 40 Executive Education programs. With a faculty of more than 200 distinguished scholars, the School is dedicated to educating leaders who make a difference in the world. Its core focus is to shape the practice of business, build enduring knowledge, and effectively communicate important ideas to meet the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century.