Earning an MD is nice, but earning an MD with a Master of Business Administration is better. It gives you a great deal of career flexibility after you graduate—especially if you want to do more as a physician. 

Dual-degree programs, such as MD/MBA programs, can vary significantly between medical schools, but one thing remains constant: A medical student who can also complete business school training will have incredible freedom and flexibility. There are lots of potential options awaiting them on the job market, allowing them to practice medicine or explore the business world as they see fit. 

Did you know AUA has an articulation agreement with Urbana University that allows qualified students to earn a Healthcare MBA online?

2 docs

What Is an MD-MBA Dual Degree?

An MD-MBA Dual Degree is a comprehensive academic program that combines the study of medicine (MD) with the study of business (MBA). This interdisciplinary approach is designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the healthcare industry by equipping them with both medical and business knowledge.

The program typically takes five years to complete, offering a more efficient path compared to earning the two degrees separately. Students enroll in the School of Medicine on a full-time basis for the first three years, followed by a dedicated year to enroll full-time at the business school to begin the MBA program. Upon successful completion, students are awarded both an MD and an MBA degree.

What Can I Do with an MD/MBA Degree?

With an MD/MBA, graduates have many paths open to them, which means they can find jobs outside of clinical practice and other areas. Here are some opportunities you’ll have as an MD/MBA:

Private Practice Ownership

Being your own boss is pretty sweet, but with zero business experience, it could be pretty tough to start up a private practice. You’ll need capital to put it together and a solid business plan to attract future patients. A business degree, such as an MBA program, covers all of that. Plus, it’s a lot nicer to say you own, instead of rent, space in a healthcare facility.

Healthcare & Hospital Administration

The healthcare system is continually evolving, so the demand for health practitioners who have business and management skills is on the rise. One possible career path is that of a hospital administrator. Hospital administrators are in charge of the everyday operations of a hospital. If you’re a generalist, you’ll be in charge of managing the entire facility. As a specialist, you’ll control a department. No matter which path you take, you’ll be able to call the shots for the physicians working under you. You’ll essentially be a super physician.

woman doing an experiment

Healthcare Company Executive

This is the ultimate combination of an MD and an MBA. Healthcare companies need MDs on staff, particularly ones who are adept in business. There are hundreds of companies that create innovative approaches to healthcare. You may be on the team that develops the next breakthrough in medicine. So, when lives are saved by a new miracle drug, you can say you managed that project using your business-savvy skills.

Non-Profit Management

If you’re feeling a bit more altruistic, working at a non-profit may better befit you. Non-profits, like Doctors Without Borders, lead teams all over the world, responding to every kind of healthcare crisis. You won’t make as much as you would work for, let’s say, a Fortune 500 company, but you’ll make a difference in the world, and that is priceless.

a woman in white coat using a macbook

Healthcare Industry Consultation

Can’t decide which one of these options you like best? Why not cover them all by becoming a consultant? Being a consultant will allow you to practice as a full-time physician and receive a substantial paycheck by advising a company, hospital, or non-profit with your expert medical advice. Be warned: this is a very difficult career to launch because it’s largely dependent on networking, but once you do, you’ll be exposed to every aspect of the medical field.

Now that we’ve answered the question of “What can I do with an MD/MBA degree?” it’s time to take the next step!

How to Get into MD-MBA Programs

Getting into an MD-MBA program is a challenging endeavor due to the high competitiveness of both medical and business school admissions. Here are some strategies to increase your chances of success:

Research MD-MBA Programs: Understand the specific requirements and offerings of MD-MBA programs. This includes identifying medical schools that offer joint programs and finding a business school that complements your medical school’s offerings. Consider the length of the program, the curriculum, GPA requirements, and the opportunities for specialization in areas of interest.

Check Requirements: Manage the application process for both medical and business schools simultaneously. This requires careful planning and organization to meet all deadlines. Use resources like MSAR to check medical school requirements and ensure you meet all prerequisites for business school.

Take the MCAT and GMAT/GRE: Prepare for both the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These tests are crucial for admission to medical and business schools. Plan your test dates carefully to ensure you have enough time to prepare.

Gain Relevant Experiences: While business experience may not be as critical for MD-MBA programs, medical experience is essential. Focus on gaining clinical and shadowing hours in medical settings. Additionally, consider premed jobs that can provide both medical and administrative experience. This dual experience can set you apart from other applicants.

Showcase Your Unique Interests: Highlight your unique blend of interests in medicine and business in your application materials. Craft compelling personal statements and essays that demonstrate your motivation for pursuing both degrees. Use your recommendation letters to highlight your suitability for both medical and business school.

Prepare for Interviews: Expect to attend interviews for both medical and business schools. Prepare thoroughly for each interview, focusing on the specific program you’re applying to. Use mock interviews to practice and improve your responses. Be prepared for different interview formats, such as the MMI for medical schools and panel or one-on-one interviews for business schools.

Bottom Line

An MD-MBA dual degree is a strategic choice for ambitious individuals aiming to excel in the healthcare industry with a blend of medical and business acumen. This interdisciplinary approach not only enhances leadership skills but also opens up a wide array of career paths, including private practice ownership, healthcare administration, executive roles in healthcare companies, non-profit management, and consultancy. With the growing popularity and increasing number of MD-MBA programs, aspiring students are presented with a unique opportunity to shape the future of healthcare through innovative leadership and strategic decision-making.

Go to the Right Medical School with an MD/MBA Program

A dual degree program that provides medical education and medical training, along with business skills, can provide you with everything you need to find your own career path. 

Want to earn an MD/MBA soon? Apply today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is an MD-MBA degree worth it?

An MD-MBA degree is worth it if you want to be your own boss in the healthcare field.

How long does it take to get an MD-MBA degree?

Most students complete an MD-MBA degree in 5 years.

What can I do with an MD-MBA degree?

With an MD-MBA degree, you can do the following following:

  • Own your private practice
  • Work in healthcare admission
  • Become a healthcare company executive
  • Join non-profit organizations
  • Work in healthcare consulting and more.