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University of Minnesota: An MBA for tomorrow’s leading managers in the medical industry

AI algorithms reading chest X-rays just as well or better than radiologists. Genomic sequencing guiding personalised cancer treatments. Big data helping specialists — who cannot wait for large, costly and time-consuming clinical trials — confirm hypotheses.

Innovation has and will always be front and centre of the medical industry. The opportunity to capitalise on this in a year unprecedented in global health is waiting at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. For current and aspiring managers in the medical industry who aspire to create a better tomorrow for their communities, the Global Medical Industry MBA (Global MIMBA) measures up.

It prepares students for the many challenges that lie ahead for business and medical leaders in 2021 and beyond. They include lives and livelihoods at risk. Businesses in existential financial and operational crises. Then, there are conflicting agendas and scarce resources, making collaboration and trust difficult to manage and maintain.

Senior lecturer Randolph C. Park unpacks such real-time case examples in his leadership and ethics course, such as the supply chain for adequate PPE for essential workers; the accelerated timelines for new vaccine development; the need to adopt sometimes difficult measures to protect employees from COVID-19. “My course allows students to discuss and analyse these cases, and others, in a reflective and methodical way,” he says.

University of Minnesota

Source: University of Minnesota

From 2019 to 2029, the demand for medical and health service managers is projected to grow 32%. Thien-Huong (TH) Tran is one of the many Carlson students set to fill this demand confidently. At her former role as operations manager at an outpatient clinic, she saw drug addiction patients. The experience opened her eyes to the intricacies of the relationships between healthcare providers and payers. It was the equity barriers and the complexity of the industry landscape that made her want to join hands with those seeking solutions to make things better — a decision that led her to the University of Minnesota. “I chose the University of Minnesota for its ideal location, in a city that is home to many important aspects of the healthcare landscape such as Medical Alley and UnitedHealth Group,” Tran shares. “In my eyes, it was teeming with opportunities.”

What sets this programme apart are live cases around the globe with a focus on vetting life-saving innovations. “You need real-world experience from an MBA programme which has faculty who have ‘been there done that,’ courses that put you with boots on the ground in locations and cultures that are all uniquely different and classmates that are as diverse as the real world,” says Global Valuation Lab instructor and MedTech expert Dane Stimart. “While some MBA programmes recycle cases on medical innovation from the 1980s, the Carlson School of Management delivers a programme that puts you in real-world locations with real-world courses delivered by experienced faculty and industry experts. With this foundation, graduates have the confidence to be a leader and mover within the medical industry now.”

Another perk? The many opportunities for hands-on learning. The Medical Industry Valuation Lab serves as an incubator for experience, insight and transformation for both inventors and students. Students work in small independent teams over two weeks on three to four real entrepreneur-provided start-up ideas to assess their valuation worthiness. They are also exposed to other projects from their classmates.

University of Minnesota

Source: University of Minnesota

“Here, students work directly with real-life start-up companies or companies with early-stage technologies in the healthcare space,” shares adjunct faculty member Bianca Frogner, who teaches the Global Valuation Lab in Stockholm, Sweden. “Students work closely with companies who are, for example, developing apps to track health metrics or help patients navigate the health system, companies developing hardware to monitor health metrics, and companies creating point of care tests.”

Class of 2020 graduate Amy Reisdorf took part in the Medical Valuation Lab semester course and the Medical Industry Fellows programme in the United States as well as the Global Medical Valuation Lab in Stockholm. Her project topics included telehealth platforms, AI, smart devices, diagnostic testing, gene therapy, and neonatal interfacility transfers. Her teammates came from many different backgrounds — engineering, medicine, law, public health. When the Global Medical Valuation Lab went online, she got to work in a cross-functional team with Swedish students from Karolinska Institutet and completed a successful business case with data-informed recommendations regarding whether to pursue product development.

These experiences were the highlight of her MBA. She’s on course to become a 21st century leading manager in the medical industry. Follow her pathway at the Carlson School of Management — click here to learn more about the Global Medical Industry MBA today.

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