B-Schools At The Forefront Of Healthcare

As the healthcare and biotech industries rapidly grow, B-schools are doubling down on specialized healthcare programs and certificates in hopes of bringing innovative solutions to the table and training the leaders of tomorrow.


From supply chain management to resource allocation, business plays an integral role in the healthcare industry. And B-schools are at the forefront of reshaping how the healthcare system operates and grows.

“Business schools are in a privileged position to catalyze the reengineering of the healthcare system by disseminating these know-hows,” Leslie Breitner, Academic Director of the International Masters for Health Leadership (IMHL) at Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University, tells Forbes.

At McGill University, the IMHL program is designed specifically for healthcare professionals— from business consultants in big pharma to dental care owners.

“The overarching intent is to create a more efficient, accountable system that can leverage business acumen,” Breitner says. “Healthcare facilities and medical schools now appreciate the value of teaching solid managerial skills.”


Here in the U.S., a number of top B-schools are also looking to make an impact in the healthcare industry.

The Wharton School offers an MBA with a Health Care Management (HCM) major, a program that is designed to bring together students from nearly every sector of healthcare—from pharmaceuticals to venture capital.

And students are showing high interest in B-schools’ healthcare programs. According to Fortuna Admissions, a top MBA admissions coaching firm, more than 15% of clients applying to Wharton cite the B-school’s HCM program as a significant factor in their decision to choose the school.

At the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the new joint MBA/MS Biomedical Sciences (BMS) program offers students the opportunity to combine business expertise with foundational knowledge in biomedicine. Candidates take 14 Booth-only courses and LEAD, an experiential leadership development course, as well as six MS-only courses over the span of the two-year program.

“Given the immense need for innovation in both healthcare and biomedicine to advance human health, having skilled professionals who are well versed in the vernacular of biomedicine and healthcare as well as poised to lead change is critical for the future,” Vineet Arora, MD, Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Medicine, Dean for Medical Education, and Founding Director of the BMS program, says. “It’s exciting to be part of training a workforce who can help transform our fields.”

At Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, a new Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK) Deep Dive Program combines rigorous academic discussion and case study with high-level practitioners in the industry. The new healthcare MBA pathway builds upon the B-school’s signature management training with specialized healthcare courses. It’s the longest-running healthcare business program in the country, Professor of Strategy Craig Garthwaite, an economist and Kellogg’s director of healthcare, says. In recent years, the program has transitioned its emphasis from concentrating on hospital and healthcare service sectors to focusing on the business aspects of the industry.

“The United States is not a national public health program. We are acknowledging the fact that, whatever people think, the U.S. healthcare market is dominated by private firms, and they need to create and capture value,” Garthwaite says. “That requires taking the tools we teach in our regular strategy and finance classes, and all the things you need to run a business, and combining it with the unique nature of healthcare.”

Just the name Johns Hopkins University conveys excellence in healthcare. At the Carey Business School, whose entire programming is STEM-designated and filled with health-related electives, students can complete dual MBA degrees with both medicine and public health. In the process, they can connect with some of the top teachers and researchers in the fields of healthcare and life sciences. This access appealed strongly to Jon Ilani, a ’23 graduate and 2023 Poets&Quants Best & Brightest MBA. Not only did the Carey MBA program expose him to a variety of schools within Johns Hopkins, but the school went out of its way to ensure he met his goals and achieved success — even before he started in the program.

“While every school talked about their potential to help me, Carey Business School went the extra mile to make it happen. They arranged an interview for me with a Carey alumnus for an internship at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, setting me up with a pre-MBA internship and leveraging their strong alumni network. This experience provided me with valuable real-world experience, which was immensely helpful when I applied for internships for the following summer.”

Sources: Forbes, McKinsey & Company, The Wharton School, The University of Chicago, P&Q, P&Q

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