There’s no doubt that business schools have been attempting to meet a need for physicians and scientists seeking to combine their technical backgrounds with a deeper understanding of the business side of healthcare. But Rotman feels there’s more to be done — and a gap to be filled.
“Any business school that hasn’t committed to healthcare and life sciences is blind to the economics of the healthcare industry,” says Professor Brian Golden, vice dean of MBA programs at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Golden is the Sandra Rotman chair in health sector management and co-director of Rotman’s brand-new Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and Life Sciences. The program launches in 2018 and targets mid- to senior-level healthcare professionals.
There’s much about the program to be excited about, Golden says. To begin with, there’s only “a small number of EMBA programs that are focused on health and life sciences. Within this small amount, they are almost entirely focused on U.S. healthcare funding models, industry, etc.,” he says. “They ignore Europe, Asia, the Gulf region, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.” Rotman’s new program, he adds, helps address that void.
A CONTEXTUAL APPROACH TO HEALTHCARE IN A SELF-REFLECTIVE EMBA
Rotman’s selling point for the new program is to give working professionals in health and life sciences a global context. The year-and-a-half program will include the standard case studies, guest speakers, and company visits that you’d expect from a top EMBA program, but there also are six in-person modules, with periods in between that are delivered online. Four of the modules will be taught in Toronto, one in San Francisco’s Bay Area, and one in Singapore.
Golden says Singapore was chosen because it supports the program’s goals to contextualize healthcare management from a global perspective. “Singapore has numerous illustrations. They’ve pioneered new models of funding for healthcare and their health outcomes are among the best in the world,” he says.
Yet there’s also an emphasis on self-development, which the school says will be important to the types of students they hope to attract. Specifically, Rotman is targeting mid- and senior-level working professionals who want to use a business degree to broaden their careers. “No one will do a program like this just to move up one rung on a ladder. They’ll be looking to accelerate movement or switch to a different ladder altogether,” Golden tells Poets&Quants. “To do this, students will need significant time to reflect on what excites them, where they are brilliant or where they have the potential to be brilliant.”
A self-development lab will run throughout the entirety of the program, he says, complete with assessment tools, career planning assistance, and a “stable of senior leaders serving as mentors.”
A LONG-TIME FOCUS FOR ROTMAN
Golden says the new EMBA is consistent with other healthcare-focused offerings at Rotman. Each of the school’s full- and part-time MBA programs offers a concentration in health sector management, and the school’s executive education roster currently has four healthcare programs.
On the research and academia fronts, Rotman’s Centre for Health Sector Strategy has been around for more than a decade; last year the school joined such peer schools as UC-Berkeley Haas, Northwestern Kellogg, and IESE when it became a member of the Business School Alliance for Health Management, a consortium of leading U.S. and international MBA programs with a health sector focus.
EXPECTED OUTCOME: A PIVOT
The cost of the program is just under $114,000, almost half the price of other EMBA programs thanks to currency conversion and the fact that the University of Toronto is publicly funded, Golden says. To get in, Rotman wants students with a current career in healthcare or life sciences and at least eight years of work experience.
“In almost every case, we would expect a pivot in students’ careers. Moving from chief of surgery to hospital CEO, or from regional lead of a pharmaceutical firm to corporate offices or a bigger market within the same firm.”
Applications will be accepted starting in September, and Rotman will enroll its first class in fall 2018, keeping each cohort to 30 to 40 students, Golden says.