The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » News » MBA News » Growing Number of Doctors Pursue Health-Focused MBA Degree at Fuqua School of Business

Growing Number of Doctors Pursue Health-Focused MBA Degree at Fuqua School of Business

Duke-Logo-FuquaThe number of doctors applying to the MBA Health Sector Management program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business is on the rise, in part a reaction to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the school reports.

An average of 21 doctors has applied to the school’s fulltime healthcare-focused MBA program each year between 2010 and 2013, up from 13 per year, on average, in the six years before that. The number of doctors applying to the Executive MBA program has also increased, to an average of 25 per year between 2010 and 2013, compared to 17 per year between 2004 and 2009.

As the number of doctors applying to Fuqua has increased, so too has the number of those admitted. Since 2010, an average of seven and 14 doctors have been admitted to the daytime and Executive MBA programs, respectively, the school reports. That’s up from an average of five and 10 doctors, respectively, admitted to the two programs over the six years previous.

Fuqua Professor David Ridley, who directs the Health Sector Management program, cites several reasons that doctors can be more motivated to pursue an MBA when the healthcare sector undergoes changes, as with implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Often they are looking to understand what the changes may mean for the practice of medicine. Specifically, doctors come hoping to learn how to lead organizational change within an established organization or how to create their own entrepreneurial organization in response, he notes.

In other cases, doctors are spurred by changes in healthcare to pursue an MBA because they want to remain in the sector but to stop practicing medicine, Ridley notes. At the same time, students not previously in healthcare can be motivated to pursue a healthcare-specific MBA program because they want to be a part of big changes within the industry as they take place.

“Business education enables healthcare students to develop as leaders and entrepreneurs,” Ridley said in a statement. “At the same time, healthcare students make the business school better by their concern for people and understanding of policy.”

Fuqua first introduced its Health Sector Management program into the MBA curriculum in 1991. A record 94 first-year students have enrolled as part of the daytime program’s current incoming class, the school reports.

Learn more about Fuqua’s Health Sector Management program.