Many people that I meet find it hard to understand why a doctor would postpone finishing training to complete an MBA. In fact, many of my colleagues were skeptical of my reasons for opting to go to Ivey. I think that many of them thought that I would never return to my training program after graduation (but today was my first day back...and it felt good).
I needed to have an eye operation when I started residency. I didn’t know how long it would take to recover my sight after it, and so I thought it would be the perfect time to complete a master degree (now almost a prerequisite to getting an academic position in medicine in Canada). I thought very seriously about a Master of Education (M.Ed.) but upon telling my program director and mentor about my interests in a yearly review he offhandedly said, ‘Why don’t you do an MBA?’
That gave me some food for thought. I immediately started to do some research on MBA programs and found that many were 2 years long. Those wouldn’t fit with my schedule. Ivey had a one year health sector program. I remembered that a medical school professor, Kellie Leitch, was cross-appointed at Ivey. She talked to me about the program and its utility in practice and I was sold. A year before I started I studied for the GMAT while listening for Code Blue to be called in St. Boniface Hospital. Having successfully completed the test I spoke with 2 members of the Ivey interview team, and found out that I was accepted.
In producing a poster for the annual meeting of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons last year I found that the reason American physicians are going to business school is primarily to regain control of their work life. For me the MBA has given me a different perspective on the problems facing the Canadian Healthcare System. It has strengthened my resolve to be part of the solution.
And after today it turns out that I also just like working in the system. For all the complaints that surface there is a fulfillment that working in healthcare gives that keeps me going. It even makes the 5:30 mornings worth it.