Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs with a medical or healthcare management concentration prepare graduates to work on the business side of the healthcare industry. Students take specialized courses in healthcare management in addition to traditional business classes. These programs can usually be completed totally online.
MBA programs in medical or healthcare management are aimed at business professionals. Prospective students should have a bachelor's degree in business or have taken undergraduate business courses. A similar master's degree program is a Master of Medical Management, which is aimed at physicians and is not as business-oriented as the MBA program.
Medical Management MBA Degree Programs
It's not difficult to find 100% online MBA degree programs with a concentration in medical management, also referred to as healthcare management. Some online medical management MBA degree programs are intended for physicians, while others are for business professionals who may or may not have experience in the healthcare field. Some programs require an undergraduate business degree or the completion of business classes, such as management principles, microeconomics, corporate finance and financial accounting.
A similar degree program, also available online, is the Master of Medical Management program, which is designed exclusively for physicians. Compared to a traditional MBA, this degree program doesn't usually require as many core business classes and usually takes less time to complete.
Information and Requirements
Online medical management MBA degree programs are typically designed to be attended part-time. Roughly 30% of the program coursework is devoted to medical management courses. A student taking classes part-time can usually complete the program in 2-3 years. Course management software that students access through the school's website allows them to communicate with each other and access lectures and assignments.
To make it easier to participate in online conversations and download assignments, schools encourage each student to have an up-to-date computer with Internet access, Web browser, word processing software and e-mail. Some schools prefer students to use a specific Web browser when accessing the course management software. Students may be asked to install plug-in software that plays media files or opens PDF documents.
Medical management courses may vary by school depending on whether the target student is a physician or a business professional. Subjects such as accounting, financial analysis, leadership and organization make up the core business course requirements.
Healthcare Organization Management
Students learn about marketing, negotiation, staffing and administration in the context of a healthcare organization. Strategic thinking and resource management are also a focus.
Healthcare Quality Improvement
This course covers the skills and knowledge required to consistently improve the quality of healthcare services or products. Subjects include the use of technology, process analysis and continuous improvement.
Healthcare Ethics and Laws
This course introduces the regulatory aspects of healthcare, as well as the ethical obligations of a healthcare organization. Issues such as healthcare for the poor and aging are discussed. Students learn how to take a leadership role in defining an organization's ethical directives.
Medical management MBA graduates can seek employment in the private, government and non-profit sectors. Careers in the private sector can include work in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare consulting and medical products sales. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in May 2015, the median annual salary for medical and health services managers was $94,500.
Continuing Education Opportunities
Doctoral degree programs for medical management do exist, but it might be difficult to locate programs that are completely online. Some hybrid medical management Ph.D. degree programs exist that offer a portion of their coursework online. Other doctoral programs with content similar to the medical management doctoral degree award degrees in healthcare management and economics, healthcare policy and healthcare administration.
Business professionals who want to direct their careers toward the business of healthcare may enroll in an MBA program with a concentration in medical management, while physicians who want to redirect their careers toward this subject can pursue a Master of Medical Management degree. MBA programs typically combine core business coursework with advanced classes focusing specifically on the organizational, financial and legal aspects of the healthcare industry.