WMU and new medical school offer dual MD-MBA degree

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of WMU School of Medicine Clinics building.

WMU School of Medicine Clinics

KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business and the new WMU School of Medicine have designed a dual-degree program allowing medical students to complete both a medical degree and master's in business administration with a concentration in healthcare in just five years of study.

The dual-degree program offers a competitive advantage to medical students as they encounter changes in health care laws that affect clinical services. Additionally, the program prepares future physicians for administrative roles as they advance in their careers. It also offers the opportunity to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of a physician's day-to-day work, a growing need in the medical field.

"We are very pleased to partner with WMU's Haworth College of Business to offer this dual-degree program to our medical students," says Dr. Hal B. Jenson, dean of WMU School of Medicine, who also holds an MBA degree in addition to an M.D. "As we prepare our medical students to be the physician leaders of tomorrow, the MBA degree provides the managerial and financial foundation to leverage the business opportunities of medical practice to influence change in the healthcare industry."

"The degree gives students a great perspective for going into today's health care environment,” says Dr. Satish Deshpande, associate dean of graduate programs and operations for WMU's Haworth College of Business. "We have had a number of physicians in the MBA program throughout the years, and they always offer a wonderful perspective in the classroom. In addition, since our program is focused on working professionals, they also get a broad view of best practices in many different areas of business."

How it works

Applicants for the dual-degree program must meet all admission requirements and standards of the medical school for the M.D. degree and the Haworth College of Business for the MBA degree. Those interested in the dual-degree program may apply at the time of their initial application to WMU School of Medicine, after acceptance to medical school, or after acceptance through the WMedStart early decision program available to eligible students from WMU and Kalamazoo College. The GMAT, usually required for admission to the MBA program, is waived for medical students.

All students complete the courses and clerkships required for the M.D. degree and also complete a minimum of 12 courses (27 credit hours of required courses and nine credit hours of elective courses, for a total of 36 credit hours) in the Haworth College of Business. Some medical school courses also count as electives in the MBA program.

About the WMU School of Medicine

The Western Michigan University School of Medicine is a collaboration of WMU and Kalamazoo's two teaching hospitals, Borgess Health and Bronson Healthcare. It has been in planning since 2008 and was granted preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in 2012. Welcoming its first class in fall 2014, the school is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation supported by private gifts, clinical revenue, research activity, tuition from students and endowment income.

In March 2011, Western Michigan University received a gift of $100 million for the medical school from anonymous donors. The home of the new medical school includes the WMU School of Medicine Clinics, a modern 60,000-square-foot clinical building on the Oakland Drive Campus, and a 350,000-square-foot educational building in downtown Kalamazoo that was donated by MPI Research. Located on the new W.E. Upjohn Campus, the educational building is undergoing a $68 million renovation and expansion project and opens in June 2014.

For more information about the program, contact Jean Shelton, director of admissions at the WMU School of Medicine, at (269) 337-6103 or Barb Caras-Tomczak, advisor in the Haworth College of Business MBA program office at (269) 387-5086.