The business of medicine has changed in recent years under the weight of health care reform, cost-cutting measures, and increased need for business efficiency. “To be considered credible in a business capacity, physicians today need a master of business administration degree (MBA),” says Dr. Bill Bergen 82C 86M 88MR 11B, associate medical director for MedSolutions.
After a successful 20-year career as a general surgeon, Bergen made the difficult choice to retire while his surgical skills and abilities were at their peak. His planned retirement at age 49 lasted exactly 23 hours. “I finished my last surgery with my son at my side (Michael Bergen 15C), and less than a day later I applied to Emory’s Goizueta Executive MBA program for classes the following month. Rather than start from scratch, I wanted to use the vast knowledge I’d acquired in medicine and apply it in a different way.”
Bergen is not alone in his awareness that business acumen is a crucial skill for practicing doctors. “The whole environment of medicine is changing. We have to work together – the hospitals, health care facilities, providers, and patients – to extract as much value out of the health care system that we can. Medical service is in limited supply, and for every unnecessary test someone gets, there is a patient who needs one and can’t get it,” Bergen explains. “Physicians with critical thinking and business skills are integral to solid leadership and management of health care institutions whose reimbursements are tied to quality of patient care and outcome.”
While attaining his MBA, Bergen owned a full-time practice with hospital affiliations that required responsibility for every aspect of nurturing clientele, salesmanship, marketing, and administrative decision making. The first doctor he hired to take his place didn’t work out and they parted ways. “My Emory classes prepared me to minimize financial loss and make smart transactions. I recovered my complete educational investment and erased a significant amount of debt before I even graduated with my MBA.” He notes that he is now in final negotiations for the sale of his practice. “The Emory MBA degree gives you instant confidence and immediate credibility. It’s a great business decision and an invaluable asset to my career.”
In the 2012 Modular Executive MBA program, six other doctors are enrolled to attain their MBA degree. They are Dr. Mohammed Kumail Ali 12B, Dr. William Block Jr. 12B, Dr. Vernon Chapman 12B, Dr. Mark Furman 83C 87M 12B, Dr. Melissa Kottke 07PH 09PH 12B, and Dr. Edward Lin 02MR 12B. In the 2013 Modular Executive MBA program, five additional doctors are enrolled. They are Dr. Vikas Bhalla 11G 13B, Dr. John Byrne 13B, Dr. William Cooper 99MR 01MR 13B, Dr. Jason Kelly 13B, and Dr. Heather Rochford 13B.
The Emory Executive MBA
Here are some key program facts you should know about Goizueta Business School Executive MBA programs.
- The Executive MBA program is ranked 15th worldwide (Bloomberg Businessweek in 2011).
- The Goizueta Business School Weekend Executive MBA (WEMBA) is a 21-month format with classes held on alternating weekends (Fridays and Saturdays). This format is ideal for individuals looking for regular interaction with classmates, greater access to faculty, and an abundance of co-curricular opportunities. Our WEMBA class enrolls in August of each year.
- The Modular Executive MBA (MEMBA) is a globally-focused Executive MBA program with a unique format that allows you to attend classes on the Emory campus during ten intensive weeklong learning modules that are held quarterly and augmented by distributed learning. This format is ideal for candidates with heavy travel schedules or who live outside of Metro Atlanta or outside the U.S. Our MEMBA class enrolls in September of each year.—Michelle Valigursky