I read with consternation the article, "The MBA Mystique" by Mary Frances Lyons, MD, an executive search consultant, in the November 1996 issue of The Physician Executive. In the portion of the article headlined by "What degree is the right one?" she states the following: "Other graduate degrees may offer physicians management training, but they are not seen as equivalent to the MBA. The MS is usually considered as continuing a clinical emphasis, not opening an executive up to business ideas."
I am enrolled in the Master of Science Degree in Administrative Medicine at the University of Wisconsin. Not only do I vehemently disagree with this assessment, but this degree is cosponsored by the American College of Physician Executives, so I would presume the leadership of the ACPE would also challenge this notion!
The brochure for the Wisconsin program, in fact, specifically states that "Many MBA programs view the educational preparation for physician executives as simply providing business skills to physicians. However, we know that the health care system of the future will require more than rigorous business preparation. Our program goes much further...this unique combination of rigorous business preparation and in-depth, future-oriented, medical management education makes the Master's Degree in Administrative Medicine the right degree for the right time. The degree provides a curriculum tailored to the needs of medical managers that is based on faculty research into the role of clinician executives. The program combines solid MBA fundamentals with health care management applications to prepare students for immediate increased effectiveness in their management roles".
I believe Dr. Lyons' article is misleading, and gives an extremely unbalanced discussion of the pros and cons of the various degrees. This program was started because of the perceived weaknesses of the traditional MBA in preparing executives for our rapidly changing health care environment. I would hope that any future articles on the value of advanced degrees would present a more informed and researched discussion.
Alan G. Adler, MD
Mercy Health Plan of New Jersey
Trenton, New Jersey
I am writing to express my disappointment over the columns of The Physician Executive. The list of columnists is small, and month after month we are exposed to repetitious articles by the same authors.
Marshall Ruffin's monthly informercials about "Informatics"--a contrived name if there ever was one--deserve no further space in this publication. Another example is Mary Frances Lyons, MD, expressing her biases. In the November issue, against those who hold an MBA--a degree she abandoned--and in a recent issue, against job seekers with facial hair. I suppose she would have given short rift to Dr. Everett Koop if he was looking for a job after stepping down as Surgeon General.
Please accept this criticism in a constructive manner. I am sure your readers will appreciate it.
Henry R. Hug, MD, MBA
Dear Drs. Adler and Hug:
Many thanks for your letters to the editor. I am always interested in hearing readers' comments about the contents of The Physician Executive. The columnists and their contributions to the Journal do not necessarily reflect the views of the ACPE. While you may not appreciate Dr. Lyons' and Dr. Ruffin's opinions as expressed in the Health Care Bytes and Career Rx columns, I hope the other contents provide valuable reading for you.
Susan M. Sasenick
The Physician Executive
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|Title Annotation:||Reader Feedback|
|Author:||Sasenick, Susan M.|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jan 1, 1997|
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