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.

Shaan-Chirag Gandhi, DPhil

Harvard Medical School & Harvard Business School
MD/MBA Candidate, 2015

Shaan-Chirag Gandhi, MD/MBA Candidate
  • Can you describe your background?[+]
    I've seen the value of integrating ideas from outside fields to improve the efficiency and quality of health care.
    Shaan-Chirag Gandhi, MD/MBA Candidate
            Originally from southwest Michigan, I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Case Western Reserve University in 2007 with a BS in biochemistry and a BA in chemistry with a minor in economics; during my undergraduate years, I conducted advanced cancer research projects at the National Cancer Institute, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Mayo Clinic, For my efforts, I was awarded the Goldwater Scholarship in 2006. Beyond medical research, I was actively involved in the growth of the Global Medical Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization devoted to increase the availability of health care supplies and consumables in resource-poor settings.

            In 2006, I was awarded the
    Rhodes Scholarship to pursue a DPhil in medical oncology at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, in the laboratory of Sir Walter Bodmer, where my doctoral research focused on the identification and characterization of cancer stem cells. Beyond my scientific endeavors, I also served as the Managing Director of the CapitOx Global Fund, the first student-directed investment fund at Oxford, and as President of the Oxford University United Nations Association. Sensing an opportunity to leverage mobile telephony to improve maternal and child health in East Africa, I co-founded Health2Home with my Oxford colleagues and won a Resolution Project Social Venture Grant in 2010 to fund its pilot project in Lira, Uganda.
  • Why did you decide to pursue an MD/MBA?[+]
            Since a young age, I've been interested in the intersections of medicine, management, public policy and technology. From my early experiences in seeing the power of integrating technology and data management to improve the quality and utility of radiological imaging to my work during graduate school and medical school in developing new approaches toward cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, I've experienced the value of integrating ideas from outside fields to improve the efficiency and quality of health care. Pursuing an MD/MBA is a natural extension of this interest.
  • What do you plan to do with your MBA?[+]
            Following residency, I plan on using my medical and managerial education to lead health care reimbursement and quality innovations at a payer or provider that leverage health care information technology and data analysis.
  • Can you describe your current experiences?[+]
            At Harvard Medical School, I have become involved in organized medicine through the Massachusetts Medical Society Medical Student Governing Council and as chair of the American Medical Association – Medical Student Section Committee on Legislation and Advocacy. I'm also been involved in health care policy educational efforts through my leadership in the national student organization Currently, I'm a consultant to the TriZetto Group, a national leader in health care informatics for payers and providers, and have worked on developing value-based benefit solutions for multiple TriZetto commercial insurer clients wishing to incorporate the principles of value-based insurance design into their benefits plans.
  • What advice would you give prospective students considering an MD/MBA?[+]
            The MD/MBA is a joint degree that will uniquely prepare you for leadership at the intersection of medicine and management. Think carefully about your future goals in health care and the place of the MBA in those goals—such critical thinking will help you become more successful not only during your business school years but also during your medical school years.
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