2016 Best MBAs: Alicia True Dagrosa, Dartmouth Tuck

Alicia Dagrosa Dartmouth

Alicia True Dagrosa


Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be a physician fighting against frustrating administrative problems and operational challenges instead of one armed with tools to try and fix them.”

Age: 33

Hometown: Annandale, NJ

Education: Boston College, BS in Management; Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, anticipated MD in June 2017

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? I was a medical student at Dartmouth in the years leading up to business school. Prior to that I sold health insurance for my father’s insurance agency, True & Associates, in Westfield, NJ and worked in the Professional Development Program at Lincoln Financial Group in Philadelphia, PA.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2015? I did clinical clerkships for medical school at Littleton Regional Hospital in Littleton, NH and at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, VT.

Where will you be working after graduation? I’ll be applying for residency programs in dermatology.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • William G. McGowan 2016 Fellow: Annual fellowship awarded to one business student who embodies socially conscious and ethical leadership. Associated year-long consulting project for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL to help redesign the system of behavioral health care delivery for Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) patients.
  • Tuck Health Care Initiative 2016 Fellow: Selected from the Class of 2016 to work with the school administration to further student education and involvement in health care. Planned and hosted an event series for students to increase engagement with Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center clinicians and executives and to deepen students’ understanding of health care industry opportunities and challenges.
  • WeBelieve Health Founding Member and Business Development Manager: WeBelieve Health is a primary and urgent care delivery organization in the business design phase. Our mission is to increase access to high value health care for Nigerians.
  • Statistics Teaching Assistant
  • Statistics Tutor
  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Dermatology Skin Cancer Screening Community Event Volunteer
  • Tuck Admissions Office Volunteer
  • Tuck Run for the Kids Charity Race Marketing Chairperson and Racer

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being a statistics teaching assistant and tutor. Teaching is by far the hardest job I have experienced. Communicating information in a way that brings insight and understanding to another person, especially when it’s about math, is enormously challenging. I know I still have a lot to learn, but being selected for this job and getting positive feedback from the students I helped was immensely rewarding. I have a renewed appreciation for all of the teachers in my life!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am planning a career in dermatology and I’m currently doing research in the laboratory for Mohs Micrographic Surgery, a type of tissue-sparing surgery done for some skin cancers such as basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma. I’m working on developing a tissue-processing protocol using immunohistochemistry to help facilitate the use of Mohs surgery for melanoma, the most deadly skin cancer. Given my background, which has primarily been business-focused, I’m really stretching my skill set and I learn something new each day I’m in the lab. If I can develop a successful protocol, I might help improve the way melanoma is typically treated, which could decrease the morbidity of treatment for many patients.

Who is your favorite professor? I have a few! I’ll name Elizabeth Teisberg, PhD. She teaches a class on the implementation of value-based health care strategy, which is the idea that health care delivery should be designed around achieving the best health outcomes for patients at the lowest cost. She has a background working on innovative strategies that dramatically improve health care value and coauthored Redesigning Health Care with Michael Porter. She thinks critically and deeply about solving problems in health care and fights for meaningful change in an industry that is fragmented and costly.

Favorite MBA Courses? Value-Based Health Care Strategy with Elizabeth Teisberg, Investing and Deal Making in Health Care, a practitioner-led interactive course examining investment transactions in the health care sector, and Arrhythmia of Finance, a behavioral finance course with Peter Fisher, former Under Secretary of Domestic Finance for the United States Treasury and Senior Managing Director at investment management firm BlackRock.

Why did you choose this business school? Tuck has an incredible community and a very strong health care tract. I spoke with several students and faculty at the school and knew these were the people I wanted to learn with and from and that this was the best place for me to pursue my interest in health care management.

What did you enjoy most about business school? The people. I have classmates from all over the globe. Everyone has a unique background and perspective, and through their stories I have learned so much more about the world than I knew before I came to Tuck.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from business school? How to think strategically.

What was the most surprising thing about business school? How fast it goes by. Two years is over before it starts. There is always more to do and learn, so it’s helpful to figure out how to make the most of your time quickly.

What was the hardest part of business school? Finding focus. There are so many opportunities to explore: elective courses, clubs, working on a new start-up idea, consulting projects, conferences, case competitions, public speakers, travel…amazing people doing amazing things all around you all the time. It’s hard not to try to take advantage of all of it, even things that don’t necessarily apply to you. It was helpful to reflect frequently on why I was here and what opportunities would be the most meaningful so that I didn’t get overwhelmed or let people down because I was trying to balance too many plates in the air.

What’s your best advice to an applicant to your school? Buy snow boots. You’re about to head north of the wall.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I recognized the challenges of delivering health care in a broken system and knew that I wanted to be a part of the systemic solutions that improve it for future patients.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…a physician fighting against frustrating administrative problems and operational challenges instead of one armed with tools to try and fix them.”

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Rose Marcario, Blake Mycoskie, Sheryl Sandberg. Because if we’re not trying to do good for each other and for our planet, I don’t see the point.

What are your long-term professional goals? I want to better the health of my community and society and believe that our generation of health care leaders can and will transform our health care system to improve health. I want to create a more sustainable, efficient, and effective health care system from the inside out. Helping patients live healthy, meaningful lives and creating a higher value health care system are my primary career goals in becoming a physician and health care administrator.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? My family. I doubt myself constantly, and they never do. They give me everything, unconditionally.

Fun fact about yourself: Every morning I make a cup of coffee and go for a long walk in the woods with my dog before I start the day.

Favorite book: I have a few. Right now it’s Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (everyone should read these books!). But it will also always be Harry Potter. All seven of them.

Favorite movie: Oh geez. Is it ok to say Harry Potter again?

Favorite musical performer: Dave Matthews Band. I was a teenager in the 90’s and they provided the soundtrack to so many memories from those formative years.

Favorite television show: Is there really a question? Game of Thrones!

Favorite vacation spot: Nantucket

Hobbies? Running, hiking, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, ballet, yoga, traveling

What made Alicia such an invaluable addition to the class of 2016?

“Alicia Dagrosa is one of five Payson Scholars accepted into the MD-MBA program at Dartmouth. During her time at Tuck, she has excelled academically and has contributed significantly to the Dartmouth community as a whole. In her role as the Tuck Health Care Initiative Fellow, Alicia has worked with the school administration to plan a number of programs that have led to increased student educational opportunities and engagement in health care.

Alicia is also a great ambassador of the Tuck community. With a group of her classmates, Alicia worked on a project in conjunction with the Ministry of Health in Haiti to develop options for the expansion of the country’s acute care and trauma response system. She also serves as a McGowan Fellow and currently works with Rush University Medical Center to develop recommendations to better deliver behavioral health care for Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) patients.

Alicia portrays the entrepreneurship spirit we look to foster at Tuck. She is currently a founding member and the U.S. Business Development Manager for WeBelieve Health, a Nigerian-based health care delivery startup aimed at increasing access to primary and urgent care services for Nigerians.

I have had the privilege of teaching Alicia in three of my courses here at Tuck and she has been an exceptional addition to the classroom. Alicia’s comments in class are always brilliantly insightful, and feedback from her classmates indicates that she is a true pleasure to have on a team. Tuck is lucky to have Alicia Dagrosa as a student, and I cannot imagine the class of 2016 without her. Alicia is one of our MD-MBA program’s most outstanding graduates ever!” — Dr. Michael Zubkoff, Director, MD-MBA Program at Dartmouth, Associate Dean, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth<, Faculty Director, Healthcare Initiative at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Professor, Geisel School of Medicine, Tuck School of Business, and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice


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