The Significance of an MBA Degree for a Podiatric Physician—Is It Worth It?

A Survey Study

Abe G. Osbourne Department of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Independence, OH. Dr. Hinish is now with Central Michigan Education Partners, Saginaw, MI.

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Rachel E. Johnson Department of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Independence, OH. Dr. Hinish is now with Central Michigan Education Partners, Saginaw, MI.

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Carlyn Hinish Department of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Independence, OH. Dr. Hinish is now with Central Michigan Education Partners, Saginaw, MI.

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Khatija Ahmed Department of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Independence, OH. Dr. Hinish is now with Central Michigan Education Partners, Saginaw, MI.

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Background:

The Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine is negotiating with the College of Business Administration at Kent State University to establish a dual Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM)/Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. Of the nine colleges of podiatric medicine in the nation, there are two schools that have a joint DPM/MBA program listed in their catalogue, but no joint program was operational at the time this survey was conducted. A telephone survey of the other eight podiatric medical colleges was conducted to obtain that information. This survey was used to assess further data for the exploration of a dual DPM/MBA program at Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine.

Methods:

A survey was sent out to 38 individuals who possessed both a DPM and an MBA degree. They responded to questions about why they obtained the business degree, how they are using their business degree, what courses in the MBA program are most relevant, and whether they would recommend that DPM students pursue a dual degree.

Results:

The majority of respondents indicated that they obtained an MBA degrees to gain a better understanding of the marketplace, to increase their income, and to better manage a podiatric medical practice. The respondents were generally very happy to have obtained their MBA degree and would encourage a dual-degree option. They admitted that a minor or series of courses with a business focus may be helpful to a DPM student who did not opt for an MBA degree.

Conclusions:

The positive survey results from respondents encourage continued research into a dual-degree DPM/MBA program. During research for a DPM/MBA degree, we feel a DPM with an MBA degree will allow our students to be better prepared for leadership roles within their community and administrative positions and to have a deeper understanding of the business of health care.

Corresponding author: Abe G. Osbourne, DPM, Department of Podiatric Medicine, Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine, Podiatric Medicine, 6000 Rockside Woods Blvd N, Independence, OH 44131. (E-mail: aosbour1@kent.edu)