The John McArthur Program for Medicine Leadership (MD/MBA Track)

The shifting demands of today’s healthcare environment present challenges that require new solutions and innovative ideas. Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), has created an unprecedented opportunity to improve the quality of healthcare while lowering overall costs (i.e. improve value), enhancing the patient experience, and strengthening the delivery of care across the population. By creating a new track to train healthcare leaders—men and women who are skilled in both medicine and business.

The John McArthur Program for Medicine Leadership Track enables select residents to earn their MBA at Harvard Business School (HBS) during their residency training. This program, the first of its kind in the country at the residency level, is a pioneering model that has the potential to influence local, national, and global practice in medical education and leadership.

During his tenure as Dean of the Harvard Business School from 1980–1995, John H. McArthur held steadfast to his commitment to prepare the next generation of business leaders with strong ethics and corporate citizenship. The capstone of Dean McArthur’s involvement with healthcare was the merger he orchestrated joining BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital to create Partners HealthCare. He helped position Partners at the forefront of expert clinical care, pioneering research, and superior education.

The John McArthur Program for Medical Leadership Track honors Dean McArthur’s legacy while setting a standard for the future of healthcare delivery. Its goal is to create physician leaders with the unique skill set required to improve healthcare quality and patient safety, enhance access, and influence healthcare policy. Fellows complete a combined four-year medical residency meeting all ABIM requirements and Harvard Business School’s MBA program in the following sequence:

  • Year One:
    First-year BWH residents apply to the HBS MBA program. Successful applicants who meet the HBS admission criteria are then vetted at BWH to assure synergies within the Fellowship program. During this year, participants primarily focus on their medical residency, as they prepare for the MBA program.
  • Year two:
    Fellows undertake critical projects in partnership with senior leaders at BWH to gain insight into the structure, management, and financial workings of health delivery. A project might involve devising a system for simultaneous management of different types of hypertensive patients, or creating structures that support individualized dosing of multiple medications within large patient panels. Additionally, fellows maintain their clinical responsibilities during this second year.
  • Year three:
    Fellows split their time between Harvard Business School and the BWH residency to undertake the curriculum requirements for the MBA. Their schedule is adjusted to assume continuity of care and meeting all ABIMA regulations, maintaining a weekly continuity clinic and periodic clinical rotations. Fellows complete courses in finance, accounting, leadership, entrepreneurship, business ethics, strategy, health policy, and economics. They also continue their hospital projects.
  • Year four:
    Fellows take elective health-focused courses at HBS including a field study focused on senior management challenges at BWH, and devote 1-2 sessions per week to outpatient clinical rotations. Both the residency and the MBA program are completed in this fourth year. Dual credit is available for QI projects and the Brigham's Medical Leadership Curriculum.

The John McArthur Program for Medicine Leadership Track responds to an urgent need for the preparation of visionary yet practical physician-business leaders. The Program builds on a strong foundation of success, following the lead of former BWH residents who are now president of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, director of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute of the NIH, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, leaders of the global health movement, and deans of many medical schools across the country. Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s collaboration with Harvard Business School requires the vision and commitment of others who will join with us to improve the quality—and business—of healthcare around the world. We are proud to present this Program and look forward to a fruitful partnership.

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