Few areas pose larger challenges—and opportunities—for physicians, companies and society than the U.S. health care system. Caught in an inefficient structure that accounts for $2.6 trillion in annual spending, the medical profession has little choice but to develop business models capable of delivering high-quality care within a financially sustainable framework.
Vanderbilt’s joint MD/MBA program seeks to equip innovative physician-leaders with an interwoven expertise in both management and medicine to help achieve those future imperatives. The mission is to have graduates matriculate with a profoundly unique understanding of how both people and organizations operate at their highest levels.
Leading this vibrant strategic partnership between the Owen Graduate School of Management and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine are Larry Van Horn, PhD, MBA, MPH. associate professor of Management and executive director of Health Affairs at Owen, and Dr. C. Wright Pinson, MBA, MD. deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.
The Vanderbilt MBA provides the fundamental management education that helps physicians understand how the business of health care impacts patient care.
The joint MD/MBA degree takes five years to complete, a savings of one year compared to the length of time required to earn the two degrees separately. Students spend their first three years in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. They then enroll in the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management for year four and take courses in both schools in year five.
MD/MBA applicants must apply separately to the School of Medicine and Owen and be granted admission by both. Rejection by either school does not negate acceptance by the other school. While students are encouraged to apply for joint status before enrolling in either program, Vanderbilt medical students can apply for admission to Owen at any time during their first three years of medical school. Owen students who apply to the School of Medicine during their first year in the MBA program are also considered for the joint degree.
View application deadlines and learn more about the admissions process for each school:
Vanderbilt MD/MBA graduates may pursue a broad array of career paths, including:
• Medical education
• Clinical research
• Community development
• Health care administration
• Public policy
• Health services research
• Health care consulting
• Global health
In addition, Nashville is a thriving health care capital that is home to more than 250 companies in the space, making it an ideal place to network, launch a career or gain valuable experience.
Medicine Business Interest Group (MBIG)
A new student group run through Vanderbilt Medical School, members focus on issues at the intersection of health care and economics. Topics for the group’s inaugural year include discussion on national health care reform under President Obama’s plan, and Medicare solvency. In addition, participants learn about medical start-ups, leadership development in clinical settings and public health policy.
Vanderbilt Health Care Club (VHCC)
This student-run organization was created to foster understanding of health care business, share knowledge of careers in the industry, provide opportunities for students to exhibit knowledge and skills to employers, and encourage and facilitate development of relationships among Owen students and the public and private sectors. Each year, VHCC hosts an annual conference and career fair, featuring prominent speakers as well as local and national companies recruiting management talent.
An inter-professional community of Vanderbilt education, management, medicine and nursing students committed to advancing education and student participation in quality improvement in health care. The group is a chapter of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School for Health Professions, a global network of inter-professional educational communities that gives students the skills to become change agents in health care improvement.
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