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Physicians for the future

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Leadership positions in medical and health care institutions today are in need of physicians with specific skills–business acumen.

Ameet Daftary, MD, associate professor of clinical pediatrics, said he agrees that the changing landscape increases the need for proper business intelligence within the health care community.

“The practice of health care is poised to undergo a revolutionary transformation over the next decade. Market forces will demand changes in the way we serve our patients, and burgeoning health care costs that imperil our economy will compel the delivery of value-based care,” said Daftary.

In order to navigate these complex issues, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health need physicians in administrative positions that are well-prepared to provide effective, strategic leadership.

In response to this growing demand for greater business acumen, IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity has partnered with IU Kelley School of Business to provide a series of leadership development programs. These programs optimize faculty’s extensive medical expertise with insight into business and leadership, as they relate to health care.

“More is expected of today’s physicians than ever before, and much of the business acumen required to lead isn’t traditionally taught in medical school,” said Jay Hess, MD, PhD, MHSA, IU School of Medicine dean and executive vice president for University Clinical Affairs. “Through this partnership with the Kelley Business School, IU School of Medicine is bridging that learning gap by equipping faculty with a greater understanding of the business aspects of medicine. The outcomes will improve patient care and system efficiency while also creating a pipeline of future physician leaders.”

IU School of Medicine Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity supports the business acumen training of physicians, and created the Evans Fellowship as a means to help bridge this learning gap for physicians.

The Evans Fellowship, named in honor of Daniel F. Evans Jr., JD, President Emeritus of Indiana University Health, is a unique opportunity for a mid/senior faculty member to develop the professional and personal skills required to lead and manage in today’s complex and fast-changing academic health center environment.

“The business of medicine was the missing piece of my medical education,” said Alan Ladd, MD, professor of surgery at IU School of Medicine and current fellow of the program. “You can only change the world in which you practice if you have the needed awareness, skills and incentive for change. The Evans Fellowship is providing that needed education so that I may impact the business of health care yet to come.”

The Evans Fellowship offers a two-year fellowship of leadership training including structured coursework leading to a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the IU Kelley Business of Medicine program, extensive coaching, networking, and mentoring opportunities. The program is intended to equip fellows with greater business acumen, broader organizational perspectives, and deeper personal capacity to address emerging issues in the school, health care system, and society.

Sara Jo Grethlein, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at IU School of Medicine, speaks to her experience as an Evans Fellow and the benefits of the program.

“I was motivated to participate in the Evans Fellowship because I was taking on big administrative roles which in many ways straddle IU Health/IU Health Physicians and IU School of Medicine. I sought to enhance my skill set not only for my own growth, but to be a more effective leader in the system. In addition to the benefits of an exceptional MBA program, the mentoring and opportunities to observe senior-level meetings have broadened my perspective greatly.”

Andrew Jea, MD, professor of neurological surgery at IU School of Medicine, is the newest addition to the Evans Fellowship and is excited to begin the program and develop his leadership and business skills.

“The Evans Fellowship will provide me opportunities to learn about strategic organizational decision-making through real-life examples of governance and leadership meetings,” Jea said, adding that this valued learning experience will also enhance his medical career.

“The coming era in health care in the U.S. will likely include physician executives, exemplified by the Evans Fellow, who can help bridge the cultural chasm between business and medicine.”

Physicians interested in learning more can visit the fellowship’s web page. Applications for next year will open in December 2019. According to Daftary, the benefits of the fellowship extend far beyond career advancement. The fellowship, Daftary asserted empowers physicians to become agents of change.

The Evans Fellowship was a fantastic opportunity for physicians like myself to become leaders and strategists,” Daftary said. “It allows us to become part of the solution in the future of health care.”

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Madison Pershing

Madison Pershing is a Marketing and Communications Assistant for Indiana University School of Medicine’s Faculty Affairs, Professional Development, and Diversity.