Wow, how time flies. The University of Miami’s Health Executive MBA program has just celebrated its 40th anniversary, thereby making it one of the oldest business school based Health Management and Policy programs in the country. We have now graduated well over a thousand students. It is worth noting that the program is now ranked as the number one program in the state of Florida per U.S. News and World Report, and further, is now ranked the number one Health Care Executive MBA program in the United States. The program is one of only a handful of programs nationally accredited by both the Business School accrediting body, The Assembly of Accredited Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the Health Management accrediting body, The Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). We are also a member of a very select group of Business School based Health Management Programs, The Business Alliance for Health Management Education (BAHM), a group of 17 of the most prestigious Business School based Health Management programs globally including fellow schools such as Harvard, Yale, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), University of California, Berkeley, and the like. And now that The Miami Business School has just been named The Miami Herbert Business School, the result of a very significant philanthropic gift, the opportunities will grow further.

The Department has come a long way in its 40 years and reflects the changing health care environment. Forty years ago, actually, for that matter even 15 years ago, if we had one physician in a class cohort, that would have been considered a lot. Today physicians make up one-third to one-half of the student cohort with each cohort rounded out by professionals from the wide range of organizations in the health care industry including hospitals and health care systems, insurance, group practices, pharmaceuticals, retail pharmacies, hospice, rehabilitation, government, entrepreneurs, etc. Clinicians and professionals are finding it increasingly important to figure out how this very complex industry works and how it affects them. Some wish to understand how to navigate successfully their work environment while others look to develop, both personally and professionally. As the health care sector approaches 20 percent of economic activity, it is not surprising that our offerings have expanded as well. We have now added a Masters in Health Administration program (MHA) geared to those at an earlier stage in their professional development as well as providing an option for potential medical students in their “gap” year. We now have an MD/MBA program, a Law/Health Administration degree, and a very new and popular undergraduate major and minor with a significant number of premed students, as they realize that they need to understand the workings of the health care sector, even as they prepare for Medical School.
 
But this is a recurring theme we hear from clinicians and other professionals in the field. They indicate that they feel that they are at a distinct disadvantage when they are trying to provide efficient quality care as well as when they are in negotiations with various elements of the health care industry, whether it be hospital and integrated health care systems, vendors, insurance companies, or when they are organizing their supplies, figuring out how to manage their front and back office operations, understanding the finances of the organization, stepping through the mine field of legal issues, and trying to figure out implications of what the political environment will bring. For those with managerial and leadership aspirations, including clinical managers, it is important to develop the entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial abilities to lead in this rapidly changing industry. A number of years ago, The Miami Herbert Business School’s Health Executive MBA program adopted the “gold standard” for competency development and achievement, the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL) competency model, in order to assure that we are teaching and undertaking cutting edge work. In the 45 years that I have been working, teaching, researching, and consulting in this industry, regionally, nationally, and globally, I see the frustrations, concerns, “angst” that professionals feel as they navigate this complex industry. It continues to get more complex over time. Yet, with appropriate tools and knowledge acquired, it is certainly possible to feel a sense of control and accomplishment in helping to create a quality outcome in our own chosen area of work, i.e. “health care.”