Mitesh S. Patel, MD, MBA, from University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, surveyed physician graduates from the Wharton School MBA Program in Heath Care Management at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 2010. Survey participants were queried regarding their perceptions of the effect of MBA training on their career and professional development.
The researchers found that based on 148 responses (from 247 graduates; 133 of whom completed free-text responses), the number of males and the number of physician graduates who entered residency training declined slightly over time. Nearly half of respondents (24 of 52) within their first decade after graduation reported clinical practice as their primary work sector, compared to 15 of 38 respondents 11 to 20 years after graduation and five of 26 respondents 21 to 30 years after graduation. The benefits of career acceleration, professional flexibility, and credibility in multidisciplinary domains were noted as positives of MBA training. The opportunity cost of time and how peers in one discipline may negatively perceive the role of the other discipline's degree were cited as the few negative remarks.
"Graduates with an MD and MBA report mostly positive attitudes towards their training, and many are pursuing leadership and primarily nonclinical roles later in their careers," the authors write.