MD/MBA Student Interviews

On this page, you'll find advice from current MD/MBA candidates about their reasons for pursuing the dual-degree, how they went about doing it, and how they thought about the decision as well as the relative pros and cons of the various routes and programs.


Ankur A. Shah

Albany Medical College & Union Graduate College
BS/MD/MBA Candidate, 2018


Ankur A. Shah, BS/MD/MBA Candidate
West Karate
  • Can you describe your background?[+]
    If America ever wants to achieve true reform and reduce its deficit, it needs physicians who not only understand the nature of our complex system but also have the tools to improve it.
    Ankur A. Shah, BS/MD/MBA Candidate
            I am from Wintersville, OH – a small town 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, PA, and I am currently a 3rd year in the 8-year combined BS/MD/MBA program at Union College in Schenectady, NY and Albany Medical College in Albany, NY. I am studying Biology and Sociology while simultaneously pursuing my MBA in Healthcare Management from Union Graduate College. I will enroll in Albany Medical College in 2014 as part of a combined degree program among the three institutions.

            In high school, I co-founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, West Karate, that provides self-defense instruction to underprivileged children in my hometown, and in college, I continue to remain very active in service work and student government; I was recently elected president of my class. Furthermore, I have conducted various research projects as an undergraduate student for both a physician and a neuroethologist. The latter of my work is pending publication.

            In the winter of 2013, I will be completing an internship at the Island Hospice in Harare, Zimbabwe, where my goal is to discover methods that increase access to palliative care for countless women and children impacted by the HIV/AIDs pandemic in Zimbabwe.
  • Why did you decide to pursue an MD/MBA?[+]
            I chose the MBA because I want to make a difference. I want to go beyond simply having a clinical impact on patient outcomes. Through successful management of resources, finances, and employees, one could optimize health care costs and enhance quality of care sufficiently to increase accessibility and affordability for thousands of patients.

            In today’s robust health care environment, there is a vast shortage of physician-leaders who truly understand the nature of health policy. If America ever wants to achieve true reform and reduce its deficit, it needs physicians who not only understand the nature of our complex system but also have the tools to improve it.
  • What do you plan to do with your MBA?[+]
            I personally hope to go into health care consulting. My goal is to help hospitals around the nation reach maximum efficiency in their care delivery systems to improve our quality of care so that America can eventually become an international leader in health care quality, accessibility, and delivery.
  • How has your experience been so far?[+]
            So far, my experience has been wonderful. I am about a quarter of the way through my MBA degree, and I love every second of it. The MBA is an extremely practical degree. Instead of theory, it teaches you a skill set and way of thinking that will make any future physician a leader in his chosen field.
  • What advice would you give prospective students considering an MD/MBA?[+]
            If you are considering going into medicine, seriously consider pursuing an MBA. No matter if you believe you are only interested in clinical medicine or already know you want to pursue business, the degree will be useful. While it is an additional amount of time and effort on top of an already rigorous workload, I am confident that it will pay off and guide you towards becoming a leader in the field of medicine.
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