Sunday, April 11, 2010

Panel Discussion: MD/MBA medical residents

Highlights from the Association of MD/MBA Programs 8th Annual Conference.

Panel discussion with MD/MBA residents:
  • Maria Chandler, MD, MBA (MD/MBA Faculty Advisor, UC Irvine) - moderator
  • Darren Raphael, MD, MBA (Dept of anesthesiology, UC Irvine)
  • Bill Rietkerk, MD, MBA (Dept of dermatology, NY Medical College)
Top 3 questions from medical students:
  1. What were attitudes about your MBA during residency interviews? Do program directors view it as a negative or positive?  What about other faculty members? Does the MBA open or close doors when applying for residency?
  2. Have you had an opportunity to apply MBA during residency?
  3. What are your future plans?
Dr. Raphael: The extra year gave me more time to think about specialty. During the MBA year, I had more time to think about residency. Some of my classmates switched specialty choices during that MBA year. I had some positive interview experiences where I spoke with one program director for an hour about the MBA. Before the match, that program called and said, "we hope you'll rank us."

Dr. Rietkerk: Mixed experience interviewing. At Kaiser, the program director really wanted to have him as an intern. On the dermatology side, it was a "mixed bag." The program directors understood the utility of the MBA, but some of the other faculty members did not see the utility of the MBA. You need to have a solid explanation of why you pursued your MBA and how you plan to apply your MBA.

Dr. Raphael: Had opportunities and still having opportunities to apply the MBA. The anesthesia dept at UC Irvine was going through significant changes. A new anesthesia Chair (MD/MBA) came on board. As the dept went through workflow changes, he had opportunities to get involved with committees. Now, I sit on the QI and budget committees. During residency, you must focus on your clinical skills first.

Dr. Rietkerk: Focusing to be a clinician. Worked on a few side projects with the chairman (seeking funding from alumni).

Dr. Raphael: During my residency interview, I wanted to have a skillset and a way of viewing my residency as a lens so that I can pursue opportunities as they arise. As for future plans, I can see myself in hospital administration, consulting, private industry, etc. I could also see myself running a group. Family and work/life balance is very important to me.

Dr. Rietkerk: Had some entrepreneurial experiences from family. I was hesitant to apply for the joint MD/MBA because of the potential "negatives" associated with the MBA. Going through residency changes your perspective. I hope to work in an academic center. During my interviews, I expressed how I want to be a leader in this field. I didn't feel that I needed to defend my MBA.

Dr. Chandler: Books to read:
Me, Inc. You're the CEO of your own life. You need to have a clear mission, good directors, and a business plan. Choose a mentor. People who may criticize your MBA may think you're doing it for the money.

True North by Bill George. He interviews 125 CEOs. Suggested by the founder of the ACPE.

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories That Heal. By Rachel Remen. Now mandatory reading for many medical students.

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