Online Healthcare MBA’s

Does anyone out there have experience with one, good or bad?

I’m considering obtaining a Healthcare MBA as a diversification measure; I know little about business and I’m my own corporation, for goodness sakes.  Beside that, the glamour of wearing the bodily fluids of others is slowly fading, and I find that while I can do all the shifts the body clock is getting less forgiving about my circadian rhythm being a punchline.

I’ve considered Law School (for one reason, so I’ll finally know everything there is to know about medicine), but cannot get motivated for it.  I can see myself (in the distant future) being a consultant, and the knowledge of an MBA would be a decided advantage, not to mention the credentials.

So, I’m looking for the good and the bad anyone has to offer.


  1. christine says:

    I’m not sold on an on-line MBA program. There are three issues:
    – In B-school you learn more from your peers than from your professors. An on-line program cannot duplicate that learning experience.
    – MBA programs are designed to build your professional network. Nearly a decade later my MBA classmates still look out for each other.
    – In my experience, on-line degrees are not as well respected as traditional MBA degrees or executive MBA degrees. It’s a lot of effort; you should get the maximum benefit.

    I can’t personally vouch for the quality of this suggestion, but I’ve heard some good things about this program:

    Good luck!

  2. I helped my wife with her on-line MBA program. And, I have to say, if you’re expecting intellectual stimulation, look elsewhere. If you didn’t like/don’t think you can pass statistics, look elsewhere. Otherwise, it will just be an exercise. Not too bad. Not too great.

    Good luck with your decision.


  3. trenchdoc says:

    A partner just finished a MBA at Duke, doing it mostly on weekends… my guess is our schedules are similar. He really seemed to enjoy it and swears he didn’t cheat, BTW.

    We’d all like a parachute… I guess now is the time to start working on one, huh?

  4. Steve Lucas says:

    I received my MBA decades ago after a strong undergraduate business program. I found the program long on math and theory, short on practical solutions. A friend just completed an online MS in computer science, and did not learn anything, due to his years of practical experience.

    In both of our cases the big gain has been credibility. We are a country obsessed with credentials re: MIT admissions fiasco, and less impresses with ability. If you want the initials go on-line. If you want to network, go to an e program. Sadly, if you want to know everything about everything, go to law school. A JD just kills the competition, as my attorney wife likes to remind me.

    Steve Lucas

  5. Goatwhacker says:

    Can’t help much with the MBA question but I will echo the difficulty with working rotating shifts. From what I can tell there are plenty of physicians who seem to thrive on frequent night shifts, but I wasn’t one of them. It was a major reason I left ED work. While I don’t think it affected my job performance that much the percentage of time I felt like crap seemed to be rising steadily.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I finished my MBA last year from Embry Riddle-since they have classes online and locally. I did about half and half, for sitting in the classroom and sitting behind the computer.

    I found it to be a poor program in general and wish, for the amount of money it cost me and my company, I would have chosen a more respected, in the classroom, program.

    However, in looking to go back to school again, I’ve been looking most closely at schools that do offer some prerequisite and earlier courses online. Especially for a stupid requirement like British Literature and Texas History!

    The program at SMU-Cox is the best I know of from my colleagues who’ve done traditional MBAs. That being said, it costs $$$!

    Good Luck!

  7. re: law school –

    You should only go to law school if you are very clear on what you want to do with a law degree. Otherwise, you will put yourself through HELL, and rack up debt anywhere from $80k-150k in debt.

    Yes, you will learn to think like a lawyer, i.e. analyze critically, do cost-benefit analysis on everything, and be able to see and argue both sides of everything.

    (But surely you already know how to do that, and don’t need to go through hell to learn it all over again.)

    the other problem with law school is that while it teaches you how to think, it doesn’t actually teach you how to practice law. To practice law, you work in a law firm. Depending on what type of law firm you work for, you work anywhere from 60-80 hours a week.

    is it really worth getting yourself deeply in debt and then selling your soul to get a law degree degree just so you can move up the corporate ladder?

    I say, go for the MBA. Learn something useful. As for business degrees, consider Nova Southeastern in Florida. My dad did their business program (actually, he got himself a Ph.D in business admin, but that’s neither here nor there.)

  8. Not a doctor, but a business person who just began law school. I did my MBA online and loved it. You get out of it, what you put into it and for someone who worked full time it was good for me.

    I do not recommend law school. If you think you are burning out, law school will put you over the top. It is about 30 hours a week of work for a part time program and more during exams.

  9. I obtained a Healthcare MBA at UC Irvine. A four day weekend is required once a month and three residentials for one week each. I found it very useful and would recommend it to someone that is interested in business and how it applies to healthcare.

    I would agree with one of the other posters in that B-School is about working in groups and making contacts. I would not have enjoyed nor obtained the level of training via a “on-line” program.

    I did this while being Sr. VP/Medical Director of a hospital and having a small practice. If you are organized, the time requirements can be met.

    I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  10. I have looked into the physician executive career. You will rack up a lot of debt (expenses and loss of income from time away from work) and the starting salaries are most likely less than you make now. You can be a consultant and make good $. I do a lot of medical legal consulting and it pays well, but is sporadic.

    If you decide to go to law school, call me and I will give you a cut rate deal on a lobotomy. That way you will blend right in!

  11. I have a MHSM/MHA degree and when I came out of school I was offered only one position as an intern for $30K, I make more than that as an RN working part-time.
    It does give a different prespective of how the hospital works and how slowly changes are made. Enjoyed meeting other people from different specialties for the well rounded approach.
    I, too have been thinking of going to law school, but my husband says I have collected enough initials and its time to start collecting stamps. I am hoping he means the ones that go in my passport.

  12. CholeraJoe says:

    I studied for and received a Master’s in Healthcare Administration back in the late 80’s. It helped me immensely in getting non-clinical employment.

  13. TO DAVID
    Hi david, i am a med school grad and planning to obtain healthcare mba .
    kindly let me know where to get the list of schools offering mba in healthcare.
    also brief me up regarding the general requirements for healthcare mba schools.
    can u let me know the median salary for healthcare mba professionals.
    Thank you in advance for your time.