The joint-degree program will prepare medical students to become physician leaders in health care, research, business and management.

“Today’s health care providers face new challenges as they enter the world of corporate health systems, and the health care sector needs high-performing professionals to meet its growing demand,” said Dr. Tim Ridgway, vice president of health affairs and dean of the Sanford School of Medicine. “USD Sanford School of Medicine students have made it clear that additional business education will improve their strategic decision making and give them the tools to become impactful leaders in health care.”

“A challenge in the health care industry is that not enough clinicians are able to speak the language of business. This specialized training prepares them for a different way of thinking about addressing challenges,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business. “This degree can improve interpersonal interactions of collaboration, teamwork, conflict resolution and negotiation. Learning to be a better leader – from managing issues to people – is of the utmost importance to today’s clinical administrators.”

The MBA program, which was integrated seamlessly into the timeline for the M.D. program, includes 33 credits and can be completed in four years to allow students to graduate with both degrees simultaneously. The MBA coursework is primarily online with in-person experiences.

“The M.D.-MBA program bridges the gap between health care and business, which ultimately equips physicians to provide informed and compassionate care,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “As the state’s flagship business school and only school of medicine, USD is uniquely positioned to prepare the next generation of health care leaders.”

USD will begin admitting students spring 2022.

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