Kelley School of Business Launches Business of Medicine MBA

Designed for working physicians assuming leadership roles; hybrid learning model enables nationwide participation

Mar 19, 2013, 10:00 ET from Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- To address the leadership needs of a rapidly changing healthcare system, Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis has launched the Business of Medicine MBA to prepare practicing physicians nationwide to assume unprecedented management roles.

The specialized two-year program will begin in September 2013, delivered as a hybrid – 50 percent online, 50 percent through weekends in residence. This approach recognizes the demands on physicians' time. By combining residential and online experiences, students are assured the professional interaction central to a full MBA experience, while ensuring the program is accessible to physicians anywhere in the U.S. The new program will draw on Kelley's expertise in healthcare and life sciences, lean six sigma, consumer health behavior, supply chain, teaming and leadership. It will incorporate the longstanding and considerable experience of Kelley Direct, which was started in 1999 as the first online MBA program from a top-ranked business school. 

Kelley's targeted Business of Medicine MBA recognizes the pivotal role that "physician leaders" will play in an industry grappling with historic upheaval. Challenges span the institutional spectrum, including implementing the Affordable Care Act, reducing costs while improving patient outcomes, enabling innovation under cost pressures and managing the migration of private practices into larger medical networks.

"Our Business of Medicine MBA bridges what has been the traditional divide between management and physicians on the front lines of care," said Idalene Kesner, interim dean of the Kelley School of Business. "With this degree, physician leaders will emerge with the full skillset to transform individual institutions, the broad healthcare field and, most important, patient outcomes."            

Business and Management Skills that Complement Medical Knowledge

Kelley's Business of Medicine MBA was built from the ground up, pairing the essentials of business education with "reality-check" input from healthcare executives. Industry leaders cited active physician governance over business, operations and strategic direction as critical to their institutions' long-term success. Increasingly, physician executives also are navigating the shifting boundaries among research, clinical practice, industry, government and public policy.

The Business of Medicine MBA incorporates a curriculum similar to the Kelley School's full- and part-time programs (e.g., economics, operations, supply chain management, statistical analysis/analytics, strategy, marketing, organizational development, accounting, finance), with the addition of specialized courses and electives. The curriculum centers on six healthcare themes – collaboration, innovation, analytics, transformation, optimization and sustainability – that address new types of clinical leadership and new business models.

Even before completing this MBA, physician executives will immediately bring to their positions newly attained critical skills in healthcare and business competencies:

  • Critical analysis and problem solving.  Applying appropriate techniques of business, drawing on major functions (e.g., finance, quantitative methods, operations) to solve complex matters in business and medical arenas.
  • Knowledge of the healthcare industry.  Gaining deep understanding of the broad industry (e.g., funding and payment mechanisms, clinical processes, regulation) and the interdependency, integration and competition among different aspects of the sector. 
  • Integrative and system-level perspective.  Building knowledge of how external forces (e.g., economic, political, regulatory, competitive, environmental, cultural) shape management alternatives, system-level strategies and operational decisions.
  • Comprehensive leadership.  Coalescing people, processes and resources to work together to achieve goals around performance excellence, adapting new approaches and sustaining a culture of high quality and safe care.  
  • Team collaboration.  Encouraging and managing diverse views from across different professional roles and different cultural, ethnic, economic and stakeholder groups; leading teams to effectively accomplish shared goals. 
  • Ethical decision making.  Recognizing ethical and related legal issues arising in patient-care delivery and across the industry – and formulate, articulate and defend alternative solutions.
  • Effective communication. Expressing ideas and facts in a variety of oral, written and visual communications.
  • Professional skill and personal development.  Aligning personal and organizational conduct with ethical and professional standards that include responsibility to the patient, organization and community, a service orientation and commitment to lifelong learning.

Full-time Faculty Noted for Cross-Industry Expertise, Experience Teaching Online

The new Business of Medicine MBA program will be taught by the Kelley School faculty, which is nationally recognized for functional expertise and experience across the healthcare continuum, including those from the school's respected Center for the Business of Life Sciences.  Kelley Direct, Kelley Executive Partners – the Kelley School's executive education arm – and Kelley's part-time MBA program are all involved. Program participants will maximize the use of mobile technology in the learning experience. Industry executives will provide complementary lectures and cases, drawing on timely situations relatable to the physician cohort's experiences.

"We believe this MBA stands apart not only for its curriculum but also in its uniting of physicians, professors and industry executives who are dedicated to tackling thorny issues in the nation's biggest industry," said Vicki Smith-Daniels, professor of operations and supply chain management at Kelley and chairperson of emerging graduate programs. "We have been thoughtful and deliberate in creating this program because patients depend on us getting it right."

Information sessions will be held during April and May; the application deadline for the first class is July 1, 2013. Complete information can be found at the Kelley Business of Medicine MBA website.  

"Society as a whole will benefit from physicians who are at the top of their profession increasing their business knowledge," said Kesner. "They will be able to influence how the industry functions and responds to future challenges and opportunities."

The IU Kelley School of Business has been a leader in American business education for more than 90 years. With an enrollment of more than 5,700 undergraduate and nearly 2,200 graduate students across two campuses, it is among the premier business schools in the country. Kelley's Indianapolis campus, based at IUPUI, is home to the Indiana University School of Medicine and other healthcare and life sciences programs, and the Kelley School's  Evening MBA, Master of Science in Accounting, and Master of Science in Taxation programs and a full-time undergraduate program. The part-time Evening MBA program is ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Learn more at

CONTACT: Jeff Lewis, 212-220-4444,; Lauren Whisenant, 212-220-4444,

SOURCE Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Indianapolis