I am compiling a list of business education resources for healthcare professionals.
I took a few of the Coursera business courses offered by Wharton. These are good to introduce you to the jargon of business and some of the basic finance mathematics. You can pay a small fee to get a certificate at the end of each course. Not sure if it’s really necessary but you may be able to put Wharton certificate on your CV. These courses are called MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) and they are massive. The few I took in 2015 had over 20,000 people enrolled. Probably a third finished. Mostly people start and then don’t complete assignments. Its not too difficult but can take some time particularly if you have not participated in educational activities recently and if your math skills are a bit rusty. The finance course is also easier if you are familiar with using spreadsheet functions. I was not so skilled and that took me time to get used to.
Obviously Coursera has tons of other class offerings for almost any interest from Universities around the world.
Another big group of classes comes from EdX a different but similar website. Partners include Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc.
This is a link to the EdX Business and Management courses.
There are also courses available online from many specialty organizations such as American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Association of Physician Leaders. In my field of radiology, the American College of Radiology has partnered up with universities to produce a radiology specific leadership program. I have no reviews of these programs, though they are obviously more expensive than the MOOC but more tailored to healthcare.
Indiana University has a relatively new physician specific executive MBA program that is cheaper than most other programs, but still requires travel and a significant cash outlay along with the opportunity cost of not practicing during your travel and study time.
I am not sure that the majority of healthcare leaders have high level business degrees. Mark Andreesen in a recent podcast interview said its easier to teach tech entrepreneurs business skills rather than teaching executives the technical knowledge to understand the tech industry. I think the same is true of healthcare. The reality is that getting into business school is easy. Getting into a high level MBA program while very competitive, is not as difficult as getting into a mid level medical school nor should it be. It is however much more difficult to succeed in the business world because the competition persists throughout your career. That mindset is now becoming mainstream in medicine as more and more business entities take over and reduce healthcare practioners to just providers. The way to fight this is to understand their business jargon and not be intimidated by it.
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