Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Learning about the business of medicine after medical school

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

Thinking back to my medical training, one thing I regret is not taking advantage of the Masters degree in Health Administration program at my medical school. At the time, I was focused solely on medicine and on being a doctor. I didn’t think the business side of medicine was all that important. In fact, I didn’t consider the business side of medicine at all.

Three years after I graduated from medical school I went back to school and got the business degree. Going back to school requires a huge investment of time and resources that many of us are already short on. With the financial and time demands on me now (due to a family and life goals), I don’t think going back to school would be an option for me now and I know it’s not an option for many people. However, most of the skills needed to succeed in the corporate world are already inherent in a doctor or cultivated by the discipline, dedication, drive and desire it takes to become a doctor. It’s important to know that a business degree (or any alternate degree) alone isn’t going to put you on the fast track to success.

If you are interested in learning some of the business side of medicine, talk with some of the administrators at your hospital. Invest some of your time getting involved in different committees and associations. There usually isn’t a salary associated with those endeavors but they don’t cost anything and it’s a great way to have something non-clinical on your resume as well as to understand more of the business side of medicine.

About the author:

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. To read more about Dr. Mudge-Riley, click here.

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