Why stop at an M.D. when you can get an M.B.A as well? As reported by The New York Times, “under heavy pressure from government regulators and insurance companies, more and more physicians across the country are learning to think like entrepreneurs.” Accordingly, the number of joint M.D./M.B.A degree programs in the U.S. has soared from a mere five or six about 15 years ago to 65 today, with an estimate of 500 students enrolled in these programs.
NYU has just launched its own joint degree program, a partnership between the School of Medicine at NYU and NYU Stern. Students may apply to the five-year program either concurrently, and then upon acceptance to both schools “defer starting the MBA until completion of their third year of medical school,” or as third-year NYU med students.
With all this interest, what are physicians doing with a business degree? Those with funding or looking for research grants can benefit from some business training, while someone with expertise in both medicine and business can certainly aid the “nation’s troubled health system.” And, of course, there are more start-ups run by doctors, and positions such as medical director and chief medical officer of insurance companies and hospitals. Plus, while not long ago hospital boards were looking for nondoctor candidates, now physicians are preferred. A joint degree can also come in handy for someone in the medical device industry, opening up even more possibilities.