Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and the College of William & Mary have partnered to create a dual Doctor of Medicine-Master of Business Administration program. The collaboration recently gained approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and will begin accepting students immediately for classes beginning in July 2014.
Students enrolled in the program will complete the first three years of the M.D. curriculum at EVMS before spending a year at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business completing an intensive, 48-credit-hour M.B.A. curriculum. Students will then return to EVMS for the fourth year of their medical education.
“The new dual-degree program provides medical students at EVMS an important opportunity to broaden their understanding of the complex healthcare environment they are entering and to expand their skill set beyond the clinical domain,” says C. Donald Combs, vice president of EVMS and dean of the EVMS School of Health Professions. “Both of these factors should make them more competitive, both in terms of their applications to residencies and their ultimate recruitment into practice settings.”
Deborah Hewitt, assistant dean for M.B.A. programs at the Mason School, notes that the dual degree is an efficient way for medical students to acquire business skills and methods.
“Doctors now realize that, in one way or another, they are going to face the market and they have to understand more business concepts to be able to manage their careers,” Hewitt said. She added that many physicians end up pursuing professional options that require high levels of business acumen and management competence.
“Doctors now manage all kinds of things,” she said. “It could range from a rehabilitation center, to a home for the aging, to medical device manufacturing. It’s much broader than managing a practice.”
Hewitt explained that the curriculum of the new dual program benefits from the Mason School faculty’s experience in working with business-oriented physicians who have gone through the school’s long-standing Executive M.B.A. program.
“Healthcare is evolving quickly,” says Richard Homan, president and provost of EVMS and dean of the School of Medicine. “Modern care settings require that new physicians have not only outstanding clinical skills, but strong business and organizational acumen. This partnership allows us to meet that need and to develop the multifaceted skill set physicians will need to lead in the future of medicine.”
The dual degree program is the latest in a series of collaborative initiatives between William & Mary and EVMS. The institutions are exploring a number of ways of working together, including research collaborations and other educational initiatives.“This dual degree program is a logical next step in our collaboration,” said Jennifer Mellor, professor of economics and director of William & Mary’s Schroeder Center for Health Policy. “By capitalizing on both institutions’ strengths, the new program will provide physicians with the business skills they need in the increasingly cost-conscious healthcare sector.”