2018 Best EMBAs: Dane H. Salazar, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Dane H. Salazar

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“A loving husband, compassionate father, consummate patriot, evidence based scientist, and caring physician.”

Age: 39

Hometown: Chicago Illinois

Family Members: Melanie (Wife), Children: Javier, Angel, Lucas and Eliana

Fun fact about yourself: My Dad was an Air Force pilot so I grew up in Germany. I went to German public school until the 5th Grade when we returned to the United States.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

Undergraduate: Saint Louis University St. Louis, Missouri

Degree: B.A. Economics

Graduate: University of Notre Dame South Bend, Indiana

Degree: M.B.A

Medical School: University of Illinois College of Medicine Chicago, Illinois

Degree: M.D.

Surgical Internship: Loyola University Medical Center Maywood, Illinois

Orthopaedic Surgery Residency: Loyola University Hospital System Maywood, Illinois

Fellowship in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery: Washington University Barnes-Jewish Hospital St. Louis, Missouri

Where are you currently working? I work as an orthopaedic surgeon at Loyola University Hospital.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

  • Providing Sports coverage for the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Loyola University Chicago
  • Head team physician for Westmont High School
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Alpha Omega Alpha – Medical Honor Society
  • Member Arthroscopy Association of North America
  • Member Society of Military Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Member Association of Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Association – Emerging Leader
  • Beta Gamma Sigma – Business Honor Society

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being invited and inducted into Notre Dame’s Chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. As a physician, I consider myself a novice at business and thus it was a great honor for me to be considered for a honors business fraternity.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? The greatest reward of my professional career is providing orthopaedic care to uninsured and under insured patients in their time of physical suffering. This is a core mission of the Catholic hospital that I work at and aligns perfectly with my faith based values

Who was your favorite MBA professor? Professor Miller. He has a genuine interest in his students and ensuring they learn accounting. If he is able to teach a doctor who has never had a business class in his life accounting, he must be a great teacher.

What was your favorite MBA course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? Strategic Marketing. I learned about resource-based analysis and constantly focusing on the wants and needs of the end consumer. I think it is very easy to assume that we are subject matter experts in our given profession and thus assume we know our customers.  It really changed the way I solicit and act on feedback in my profession.

Why did you choose this executive MBA program? To expand my knowledge on basic financial, economic and accounting concepts. To learn about strategy and foresight and to strengthen my formal training in communication and leadership.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? Learning from my classmates. 

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work?  That leadership is just like every other discipline in that it requires premeditated thought, constant reflection, and introspection and that only practice makes you better.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? After being on call at the hospital and operating all night long I had to email my statistics professor that I might be late to take is final exam as it was already 4 am and I still had one more emergency surgery to perform.  Luckily I finished around 6:45 am, showered at the hospital and went straight to class.  I was on-time for the exam and luckily had studied well in advance so I felt prepared and confident in spite of being physically fatigued.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Become a master of time management and efficiency

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? That you are too old to go back to school. You are never too old to seek out new learning opportunities and was to expand and strengthen your skills.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I have no regrets

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire all of my classmates because of their courage and dedication to go back to school when they have already succeeded and done well in their given professions. I have made countless professional connections but more importantly made life-long friends whom I respect and cherish. The adversity that some of my classmates have overcome in their lives is inspiring.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…When I realized that modern medicine was becoming more and more a business and that I was undertrained in how to handle that aspect of my practice.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…I would have enjoyed about 20 more hours a week of free time.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To become Chairman of an Orthopaedic Surgery Department at an academic medical center.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As a dependable, trustworthy and capable teammate

Favorite book: Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

Favorite movie or television show: Braveheart

What are the top two items on your bucket list? Learning to play the bagpipes and running with the bulls in Pamplona Spain

What made Dane such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

“Dane was one of the standout students in my Financial Accounting and Reporting course in the Notre Dame Executive MBA program. He is an orthopedic surgeon, so business and accounting is new for him. Despite his lack of business background and the extreme time demands placed on him as a practicing surgeon, he excelled in my course, earning an A for the semester.

Dane plans to combine his business education with his career in orthopedic surgery to improve the delivery of orthopedic health services in our society, particularly for the benefit of poorer under and uninsured citizens. This is a noble pursuit and one that exemplifies his commitment to Notre Dame’s mission of business for the common good.”

Jeffrey Miller

Associate Professor of Accountancy

Mendoza College of Business


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