MD/MBA Student InterviewsOn 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.
Omar F. RahmanGeorgetown University School of Medicine & McDonough School of Business
MD/MBA Candidate, 2017
- Can you describe your background?[+]I am from Pittsburgh, PA and am currently a first-year MD/MBA student at Georgetown University. I also attended Georgetown for my undergraduate education, where I studied Biology and Economics. I worked in a neuroscience laboratory as a research assistant for three years where I studied the basal ganglia and its relation to neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Tourette Syndrome. Moreover, I was involved in two Healthcare Consulting internships, at MITRE and FTI Consulting, which focused on value-based purchasing models and healthcare compliance, respectively. These consulting experiences along with my undergraduate education strongly influenced my interest in the business side of medicine.
- Why did you decide to pursue an MD/MBA?[+]My interest in pursuing a MD/MBA degree was sparked by the growing cost of healthcare in America. Although recent reform has directly addressed the issue of access to healthcare, the cost of care is, however, on an unsustainable path and is a growing threat to American competitiveness in the global marketplace. As healthcare costs are expected to rise to one-fifth of our nation’s GDP by 2020, I have become inspired to pursue innovative solutions to lower the overall cost of the American healthcare system and help restore our competitiveness. As an aspiring physician-leader, I aim to leverage my business education to develop strategic and tactical skills in order to provide solutions for cost-effective care and standardized best practices.
- What do you plan to do with your MBA?[+]As a practicing physician, I hope to take on a leadership role in practice management and hospital capital budget decisions. My MBA education will help me develop the analytical skills required for effective communication and negotiation, decision optimization, and an economic understanding of the healthcare system. As a physician-leader, I hope to attain a multi-faceted perspective on these issues and propose innovative solutions to improve patient care. To quote one of my professors, healthcare in America is analogous to “Rubik’s cube” in that each healthcare decision executed by a stakeholder has a downstream effect (positive and/or negative) on other stakeholders. My MBA education will give me the opportunity to have a more extensive view of the overall healthcare system and how each stakeholder effectively plays their role. While focusing on the needs of patients, I will also have the ability to understand the cost-effectiveness of healthcare delivery. Recent healthcare reform has been putting healthcare into more financial terms than ever before and I believe it is crucial for physicians to understand health insurance contracts, negotiate reimbursement rates, and analyze hospital budgets.
- How has your experience been so far?[+]My MD/MBA experience has been fantastic so far. I have found myself analyzing clinical cases from different angles than my classmates. I bring a cost-effectiveness and practicality perspective to the table, which has initiated very interesting discussion among my classmates. I am also on the Executive Board of Georgetown’s American Medical Association section and plan to use my position as a platform to invite business-minded physicians and policy experts to speak at Georgetown about current healthcare issues. I also intend to begin my MBA education this upcoming summer.
- What advice would you give prospective students considering an MD/MBA?[+]I consider the MBA as a very practical degree that further develops a physician’s hard and soft skills. A formal business education allows physicians to become more financially savvy and economically aware of the inadequacies in healthcare practice and delivery. Furthermore, it allows physicians to take a step back and obtain a comprehensive understanding of healthcare while simultaneously working with the intricacies of clinical medicine. To me, the MBA education is a critical and useful tool that I can add to my ‘physician’s bag’. If you are interested in learning more about the ‘big picture’ of healthcare and the business side of medicine whether its administrative, pharmaceutical, or financially related, I believe the MD/MBA degree is a great route to take in order to keep the doors open for further opportunities later in your career path.