Duke - The Fuqua School of Business

News Release

Affordable Care Act Leads to Increased Number of Doctors Pursuing MBAs

Fuqua data shows more doctors applying to programs

August 16, 2013

How will Obamacare impact me? Many Americans are asking that question, including doctors. At Duke University's Fuqua School of Business, an increasing number of doctors are pursuing a health-focused MBA degree, in part to gain different perspectives on this question.
From 2004-2009, an average of 13 doctors applied for Fuqua's Daytime MBA Health Sector Management program, the largest health industry program among top U.S. business schools. From 2010 (the year the Affordable Care Act was passed) to 2013, that number increased to 21. The same upward trend applies for the Executive MBA program. From 2004-2009, the number of doctors who applied for the program was 17, while for the last four years, that number increased to 25.
As a result, over the last four years, Fuqua has admitted an average of 14 doctors to its Executive MBA programs and seven to the Daytime MBA. The six years previous, the averages for doctors admitted were 10 for Executive MBA programs and five for the Daytime MBA.
Professor David Ridley, director of Fuqua's Health Sector Management program, notes that changes in the health sector motivate people to pursue an MBA for several reasons:
1.      They need to learn what the changes mean for the practice of medicine. They want to understand how to lead organizational change within an established organization, or create their own entrepreneurial organization.
2.      They want to stay in the health sector, but want to stop practicing medicine.
3.      Some students are not in health care but want to be a part of the exciting changes in health care. They see the need for informed, flexible people who can lead change and make a difference in the health of the population.
"Business education enables health care students to develop as leaders and entrepreneurs," said Ridley. "At the same time, health care students make the business school better by their concern for people and understanding of policy."
A total of 94 first-year Daytime MBA Health Sector Management students are enrolled in the current incoming class, a record in the program's history. The Health Sector Management program was introduced into Fuqua's MBA curriculum in 1991.