Magazine article Management Review

When an M.D. Just Isn't Enough

Magazine article Management Review

When an M.D. Just Isn't Enough

Article excerpt

What do you teach an MBA class when most of them are medical doctors? Plenty, if the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Irvine, has anything to say about it.

In January, UCI inaugurated what it says is the first healthcare executive MBA program in the country. The class of 58 has some interesting characteristics. The average age is 45; 84 percent are medical doctors who have been practicing for an average of 12 years; and the average annual salary is $230,100.

A cynic might think that a doctor with an MBA is an embarrassment of riches: Let the patient beware. But Dennis J. Aigner, dean of the graduate school, argues that doctors themselves are "retrofitting their M.D.s" because they are as confused and disenchanted by the complicated managed-care environment as are their patients. Aigner points out that routinely 10 percent of the students in UCI's regular executive MBA program are M.D.s or health professionals.

Some of those in the new MBA program are physicians in hospital and group practices and HMOs who have decided not to stay in traditional medicine, says Aigner, a professor of management and economics. …

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