Rutgers' Mini-MBA Adds New Dimension: Business Education for Medical Residents, Health Care Professionals

Rutgers' Mini-MBA Adds New Dimension: Business Education for Medical Residents, Health Care Professionals

Saint Peter’s University Hospital is first to offer program in business of medicine

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. –Medical residents at Saint Peter’s University Hospital are adding a new dimension to their skills as health care professionals. They are students in a unique Rutgers Mini-MBA program developed collaboratively with the hospital that makes the business of health care management an essential component of their training.

In an intensive 13-week program taught on site to accommodate their busy schedules, more than 30 medical residents and leaders from administrative and patient-care areas of the hospital are gaining a comprehensive understanding of the economic, financial and competitive aspects of the health care industry, including the management of health care facilities, market dynamics and global trends in the industry.

“It is virtually unheard of to integrate a business course into a medical residency program,” said Dr. Nayan Kothari, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Saint Peter’s and program director for the hospital’s Internal Medicine Residency Program. “I believe our partnership with Rutgers will make for more responsible doctors.”

 “The Mini-MBA: Strategic Healthcare Management” is taught by faculty from Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick and the School of Management and Labor Relations, and addresses the particular concerns and challenges of health care delivery, strategic management issues and facilities operation. Reimbursement issues, understanding the marketplace, business strategies, ethics and the use of information technology in health care are among the topics covered in three-hour classes each week.

Believed to be the first such program at a New Jersey health care facility, the new Mini-MBA was developed by Rutgers’ Center for Management Development (CMD) at the request of Saint Peter’s University Hospital. The hospital’s leaders saw potential benefits for patients as well as for the institution in giving its second and third-year residents a better understanding of the management and operational aspects of health care.

Though initially conceived as a program for medical residents, it soon evolved into one that could benefit staff, administrators and practicing physicians as well. Current participants include 11 residents, four staff and two community physicians, one nurse and 15 members of administrative departments.

The collaboration with Saint Peter’s was consistent with the mission of the Center for Management Development, according to its director Abe Weiss. Since its founding in 1947, the center has been a leading provider of continuing education programs for executives and business leaders, including Mini-MBAs in finance and business essentials, and, beginning next month, one in pharmaceutical innovation.

 “The purpose of the program in strategic health care management is to help physicians and administrators make more informed decisions. In an interdisciplinary setting of both peers and colleagues across departments, participants are exposed to new ideas and experiences, and ultimately are able to think more comprehensively about system-wide strategies and solutions. These are the very elements that are so instrumental in problem solving, creativity and innovation,” Weiss said.

Participants who attend all 13 sessions of the Mini-MBA will earn a certificate. Medical residents are required to attend two additional classes and pass a written examination. Those who successfully complete these requirements are eligible for three credits toward a Rutgers MBA, a Master in Human Resource Management or a Professional Science Master’s degree.

This year, medical residents at Saint Peter’s were selected for the class, but next year, it may become mandatory for graduation, Kothari said.

 “The Mini-MBA: Strategic Healthcare Management” is also available to other healthcare facilities. For more information, call 732-445-5526, go online to www.cmd.rutgers.edu, or send e-mail to info@cmd.rutgers.edu.

Media Contact: Sandra Lanman
732-932-7084 ext. 621
E-mail: slanman@ur.rutgers.edu