SUNY Upstate and Syracuse Partner to Launch Joint Medical Degree and MBA Program

BY Lake SydneyMay 05, 2022, 1:34 p.m.

A Syracuse Orange cheerleader waves a giant orange flag during their football game against the Clemson Tigers at Clemson Memorial Stadium, as seen in September 2018. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

According to data from the Association of American Medical Colleges– and MBA applications have also increased. To meet growing demand for both types of degrees, SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management announced plans in late April to launch a joint MD/MBA program this autumn.

The two universities entered into this partnership for several reasons, but it was primarily driven by demand from medical students to study management and business-related subjects they might encounter during their professional practice, according to Alexander McKelvieSyracuse Whitman Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Masters in Education and Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Kristal Ripadirector of SUNY Upstate Special Admissions Programs.

“Upstate doesn’t have a business school and Syracuse doesn’t have a medical school, so it’s a natural partnership to leverage each other’s strengths,” McKelvie and Ripa said in a joint statement to Fortune.

Physicians in Syracuse’s online MBA program, which Fortune ranked as having the #11 program in the United States and #1 in New York, told the school they wished they had learned business-related content earlier in their careers. This would help “accelerate their careers, reduce errors, and better treat a diverse patient population with varying backgrounds, ability to pay, and insurance coverage,” McKelvie and Ripa add.

How the MD/MBA program is structured

The five-year program begins with business studies. Accepted students will spend their first year studying for their MBA, and medical training will begin in the fall of their second year in the program. Students will spend the summer between their first and second years completing an MBA internship that focuses on “the intersection of business and health care,” according to the schools’ announcement.

According to McKelvie and Ripa, the core curriculum for the MBA portion of the program is “essentially the same” as one would get from a full-time program, and MD/MBA students will take classes with full-time MBA students. full during their first year.

There are three differences, however, between full-time MBA students and MD/MBA students must complete. MD/MBA students will attend summer school after their freshman year before their medical training begins; they will complete another summer internship after their sophomore year (or first year of medical school) at the intersection of business and healthcare; and students can transfer “relevant” medical electives, such as professional ethics and leadership, to their MBA.

“The program was created based on increased student and industry demand for students with multidisciplinary programs that include both the technical and people skills necessary for success,” Eugene Andersonthe Dean of Whitman, said in a statement program announcement. “We see a substantial opportunity to support our students and local partners by offering this advanced business degree to medical students.

How to Apply for the Dual Degree Program

Applicants must first apply to the MD program at SUNY Upstate through the American Medical College application system and must be accepted by the medical school in order to be considered for the program. If they are interviewed and accepted into the MD program, Syracuse decides whether the student is also accepted into the MBA program.

“While admission to medical school is already highly selective, the additional work requirements and preparation for an additional graduate degree in business make this a very demanding program,” McKelvie and Ripa say.

So far, the program has accepted three students for launch in fall 2022. “Their joint cumulative GPA is over 3.9 and they are all highly engaged students with strong leadership and interpersonal skills” , add McKelvie and Ripa.

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