The Business of Medicine: Georgia Tech and Morehouse School of Medicine Prescribe a Joint MD/MBA Degree
Insurance. Contract negotiations. Data analytics. Leadership.
Whether going into solo practice or working for a large hospital, future physicians will need these and other business skills to be successful. To help meet that need, Georgia Tech and Morehouse School of Medicine are partnering to offer a joint, five-year MD/MBA degree.
Students enroll and complete their first three years as medical students at Morehouse School of Medicine before entering Tech’s Scheller College of Business for a rigorous one-year, three-semester MBA program. The final year, students return to Morehouse to complete their fourth year of medical studies.
Allison Rowell, who worked as a registered nurse at Grady Health System and at Piedmont Hospital, is one of the program’s first two students to enroll.
“I want to leverage MBA training with my unique clinical background to develop solutions to assist health care organizations in achieving greater resource efficiency without sacrificing the quality of care,” Rowell said. “As a clinician, I will be able to apply my understanding of medicine in the context of cost-effective, value-based health care delivery systems.”
Rowell said that as health care delivery systems become more complex and the market shifts toward value-based care, organizations recognize the advantages of placing clinicians in leadership roles.
“My MD/MBA training will prepare me to pivot into this type of role after gaining experience as a practicing physician,” she said.
Joining Rowell in the new program is Ogechi Nwoko, who worked briefly as a clinical research coordinator for a contracting company that conducted clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies. She has always been drawn to health care, and some of her closest role models were physicians, so she enrolled at Morehouse School of Medicine.
“I wanted a career that would not only be a challenge but would allow me to make an impact in my community,” Nwoko said. “I chose to pursue an MBA at Georgia Tech because the more I learned about medicine, the more I realized that I wanted to have an impact that reached beyond my community. Learning — and eventually practicing — medicine is an honor and a privilege.”
By offering this dual degree, Morehouse School of Medicine and Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business are preparing students to provide high-quality healthcare in a smart, efficient way.
“Tomorrow’s physician must be business savvy, possess a lot of financial and managerial acumen, and also be entrepreneurial in their mindset,” said Dean Maryam Alavi, Scheller College of Business. “Our curriculum not only develops managerial and financial acumen, but also develops tech savvy and entrepreneurial thinking. This combination of skills enables our MD/MBA students to thrive and excel as physicians.”
Both students received full fellowships that were jointly funded by the Scheller College of Business and Morehouse School of Medicine. They began their MBA work this semester, with an intended graduation of 2020 for both degrees.