Western Michigan University’s Haworth College of Business has partnered with the new WMU School of Medicine, set to open in June, to offer a dual-degree program allowing students to complete both a medical degree and a master’s degree in business administration in five years.
“So many physicians have their own practice,” says Barb Caras-Tomczak, an adviser to the Haworth College of Business MBA program. “It really helps to know the business end of operating an office.”
While the dual-degree program won’t launch until the fall, Caras-Tomczak says the school’s business program currently has about six students who already have their M.D. degrees and are now pursuing their MBAs. “I’ve also had students get their MBA and then go on to medical school,” she says.
The duel-degree program is designed to give students a completive advantage as they encounter changes in health care laws that affect clinical services. The program will also prepare students for administrative roles as they advance in their medical careers, says Satish Deshpande, associate dean of graduate programs and operations for the Haworth College of Business.
“The degree gives students a great perspective for going into today’s health care environment,” Deshpande says.
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. Students may apply at the time of their initial application or acceptance to WMU School of Medicine, or after acceptance through the WMedStart early decision program, available to eligible students from WMU and Kalamazoo College.
Around 50 universities in the United States offer dual MBA and M.D. degree programs, including the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.