UTMB and UH–Clear Lake to Offer MD–MBA Dual Degree Program

Feb 18, 2016, 10:18 AM by Christopher Smith Gonzalez
From left: University of Houston–Clear Lake President William A. Staples and Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB, sign an agreement for a joint MD–MBA dual degree program between the two universities.

Medical students at UTMB seeking to gain an edge with additional management and finance skills will be able to obtain a Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Houston–Clear Lake while working on their medical degree.

The MD–MBA program is geared toward medical students who wish to go on to private or group practice, health system administration or into the fields of biotechnology, health system management or entrepreneurship aspects of health care. Both degrees can be accomplished in as little as five years.

Students wishing to obtain their MD–MBA will be required to take a year off from their medical studies, preferably between their third and fourth years of medical school. Students will not take courses concurrently.The MCAT will be used in place of the GRE for admissions.

“Some physicians decide they would like to have the added expertise that a business degree can provide,” Dr. Michael Ainsworth, vice dean for Academic Affairs at UTMB, said. “It might be as simple as having a better sense of the financial aspects of the medical practice. It might be wanting to take a leadership role in a health system, which requires more knowledge of finance.”

The dual degree program began accepting applications in January, with courses starting later this summer.

“As a health science center, UTMB doesn’t offer these type of classes,” Ainsworth said. “We wanted to find someone to partner with and UH-Clear Lake is the closest and most appropriate partner. They have a very high-quality business curriculum so we felt it was only natural to work together.”

Dr. David L. Callender, president of UTMB, said the agreement was a good fit for both institutions.

“We wanted our students to have an option to develop additional business skills that will complement their medical professional skills and better prepare them for leadership roles,” Callender said. “The students are the winners in this partnership.”

The 54-credit-hour program offers medical students a chance to complete some of the MBA classes prior to beginning their medical school studies and to complete other classes in between their third and fourth years in medical school either online or at UH–Clear Lake, conveniently located 35 miles north of UTMB.