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Last modified: Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kelley School of Business Indianapolis launches Business of Medicine MBA for physicians

March 19, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS -- As health care organizations restructure and merge, the role of a physician is growing to include more business and leadership responsibilities. To address the leadership needs of a rapidly changing health care system, Indiana University Kelley School of Business Indianapolis has launched the Business of Medicine MBA to prepare practicing physicians nationwide to assume unprecedented leadership roles.

The specialized two-year program will begin in September 2013, delivered as a hybrid -- 50 percent online, 50 percent weekends in residence. This approach recognizes the demands on physicians' time.

By combining residential and online, students are ensured the professional interaction central to a full MBA experience, while ensuring the program is accessible anywhere in the U.S. The new program will draw on Kelley's expertise in health care and life sciences, Lean Six Sigma, consumer health behavior, supply chain, teaming and leadership. It will incorporate the longstanding and considerable expertise 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 unprecedented 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.

Idalene Kesner

Idalene Kesner

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"Our Business of Medicine MBA bridges what has been the traditional divide between management and physician leaders 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 health care field and, most importantly, 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 health care 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 and finance), with the addition of specialized courses and electives. In acknowledgement of the special cohort, the curriculum centers on six health care 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 business competencies.

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 health care 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 the Kelley School'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.

Vicki Smith-Daniels

Vicki Smith-Daniels

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"We believe this MBA stands apart not only for its curriculum but also in its uniting of physicians, professors and industry executives who are tops in their respective fields and dedicated to tackling thorny issues in the nation's biggest industry," said Vicki Smith-Daniels, professor of supply chain management at Kelley and chair of Emerging Graduate Programs. "We have been thoughtful and deliberate in creating this program because lives literally will depend on us getting it right."

The application deadline for the first class is July 1, 2013. Complete information can be found at

"Society as a whole will benefit from physicians who are at the top of their profession, increasing their business knowledge," Kesner said. "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 in Indianapolis is based at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, which is also home to the Indiana University School of Medicine and other health care and life sciences programs. The Indianapolis campus also houses the Kelley School's Evening MBA, Master of Science in Accounting and Master of Science in Taxation programs, as well as a full-time undergraduate program. The part-time Evening MBA program is ranked ninth in the country by U.S. News and World Report.