The EMBA for Physicians’ Curriculum: Learning more about the courses

Over the next several months, this blog will collaborate with Executive MBA for Physicians faculty to explore the content of their classes and the subject’s value for a busy, practicing physician. In preparation, below are brief descriptions of the classes in our curriculum, designed for you to scan and read summaries of the classes you are curious about. For more in depth information about specific classes, stay tuned, or reach out to our team at hellerpemba@brandeis.edu.

Clinical and Managerial Uncertainty, Data, and Judgment – Studies how people make decisions. When people make decisions, they draw on data, models (mental or formal), and goals that are shaped by their own experiences and the contexts in which they are immersed. Decision making often suffers when situations include uncertainty, dynamically complex problems, high stakes, and time and performance pressures. We will look for connections between how people make decisions and the organizational outcomes we experience. The course introduces the tools of systems thinking for modeling and analyzing organizational policy and strategy.

Conflict Resolution by Negotiation – Develops in students an understanding of the nature, advantages, and limitations of negotiations as a conflict resolution tool. Provides a normative and practical framework for pursuing a negotiation strategy as a method of resolving disputes. Provides students with opportunities to apply this knowledge in a variety of simulated negotiation contexts. Finally, exposes students to feedback regarding their negotiation approaches.

Corporate Finance I and II – Analyzes the major issues affecting the financial policy of a modern corporation and develops greater depth of financial skills and logical thought processes necessary to formulate and implement business decisions. Reviews foundational theoretical concepts before going on to discuss real-life cases dealing with major issues, such as firm valuation, capital structure and security issuances, payout policies, and corporate restructuring. These issues are central to the investment, financing, and strategic policy decisions facing financial managers.

Economic Analysis for Physicians as Managers – Introduces tools of economics that can be used for managerial decision making in the health sector. A framework based on optimization of objectives will enable us to organize information concerning input costs, the market for output, and technology. We will consider the economics of supply and production, consumer demand, and market power and examine health policy initiatives that attempt to change managerial and consumer incentives to change market outcomes.

Executive Team Consulting Project – For an in depth description of this class, see our previous blog: Making the Most of Your EMBA: The Executive Team Consulting Project – From Real Learning to Real Life

Financial Accounting – Develops a fundamental understanding of financial accounting and reporting issues as they apply to nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Students will acquire skills enabling them to read and analyze the statement of earnings, balance sheet and statement of cash flows. Accounting practices that are unique to nonprofits will be introduced, discussed and differentiated from those practices employed by for profit enterprises. Students will examine financial statements from organizations such as hospitals, large and small non-profits, retailers and manufacturers. The course emphasizes how accounting information, in a variety of organizational settings, can be utilized by decision makers.

Health Care Entrepreneurship – Enables students to master the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. It explores how entrepreneurship has become a driving force in the healthcare sector, provides tools for developing and evaluating new ventures, and explores the blurring line between for profit and non-profit social initiatives. The course is designed to provide an intellectual and practical framework for students interested in exercising their entrepreneurial energy to solve problems in healthcare and explores the process of launching a new venture, particularly in the healthcare sector.

Healthcare Technology and Information – Discusses the role of science and technology in healthcare settings. Through case studies of technology companies (pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and information technology), the class examines how firms manage the creation, development, adoption, and spread of medical innovations in the context of a cost-constrained marketplace. The class uses current academic literature and newspaper articles to discuss how hospitals, insurers, and federal agencies can affect technological progress.

Health Law and Ethics – Introduces students to patient care and liability issues within the context of the U.S. healthcare delivery system. The course will cover legal and ethical aspects of: 1.) the provider/patient relationship and liability; 2.) healthcare quality, cost, and access; 3.) relationships between physicians and organizations; 4.) insurance, healthcare delivery systems, regulation, and the Affordable Care Act.

Leadership and Organizational Behavior – Focuses on leadership and managing organizations. Uses cases on a variety of organizations to expose students to problems and to improve their effectiveness in analyzing, diagnosing, and leading people in organizations. Students learn organizational concepts, analytic frameworks, and models, and practice their leadership skills in class. Uses case discussions, simulations, role-playing, mini-lecturing, and experimental exercises.

Leadership Coaching – For an in depth description of this class, see our previous blog: Making the most of your EMBA: Leadership Coaching

Management of Healthcare Organizations – Introduces students to the concepts, theories, and practical problems of managing people in healthcare organizations. Case material is drawn from hospital, HMO, group practice, public health agency, and for-profit company settings. Students gain a better understanding of the range of strategic and operational problems faced by managers, some of the analytic tools to diagnose problems, and the role of leadership (and management) in improving performance.

Managerial Accounting – Provides general introduction to the concepts, problems, and issues related to managerial accounting. Managerial accounting predominantly addresses the internal use of economic information regarding the resources used in the process of producing goods and providing services. Fundamental aspects of cost behavior and cost accounting will be discussed, but always from the perspective of the manager who must make decisions rather than the accountant who prepares the information.

Marketing – Provides students with an in-depth understanding of the key concepts of marketing and applying them to product and service applications as well as to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations and companies in the health sector. This course is also designed to provide an opportunity for participants collectively to analyze and solve complex marketing problems and to explore, through the study of the marketing of health-related services, the interrelationship between marketing, operations, human resources, information systems, and finance.

National Health Policy – An overview of the U.S. healthcare system is followed by a critical analysis of the major issues and trends in the healthcare field. Concentrates on the activities of federal and state governments and the private sector. Also explores likely future issues affecting our health system. Of special concern is the issue of the large number of Americans with no or inadequate health insurance. A related problem is the rising cost of medical care, which results in increases in the number of uninsured.

Operations Management – Addresses healthcare operations, which is the management of interconnected processes or systems which facilitate diagnosis, treatment, payment, physician education, and administrative tasks. Uses concepts and tools from management science, decision support, and the science of systems as well as the organization’s strategy to determine the most efficient and optimal methods to support patient care delivery. The course covers several main topics: process analysis, process improvement (which includes patient safety), inventory management, and linear programming.

Quality and Performance Measurement in Health Care – A conceptual and analytic framework of the field of quality of healthcare, which includes quality improvement and performance measurement; understanding of the contemporary research and policy initiatives that relate to quality of healthcare; and insights into the ways that quality relates to issues of provider payment, organization of healthcare facilities, and costs of and access to healthcare. By the end, students should have an understanding of the centrality of quality of care issues in contemporary health services research, healthcare policy, and management of healthcare organizations.

Relational Coordination Masterclass – Students will learn about relational coordination—and its impact on quality, safety, efficiency, employee well-being, learning, and innovation. Students will learn how to analyze work processes that pose a coordination challenge, mapping out the current state of relational coordination, and assessing areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Students will learn how to diagnose these structures that weaken or strengthen relational coordination. Moving from analysis to action, students engage with key stakeholders regarding a coordination challenge in their organization.

State Health Policy – Examines the role of states in the U.S. healthcare system. Provides an overview of state activities in health, including state responsibilities for managing health programs and institutions. Outlines and explores the policy and legislative processes. States’ efforts to reform their healthcare systems are discussed with special attention to implementation issues, barriers, limits of state action, and prospects for the future of state health reform.

Strategic Management – In an increasingly complex and dynamic healthcare environment, physician leaders are constantly called upon to both set strategies for their organizations and ensure effective implementation. This course covers the fundamentals of both strategy development and strategy execution as it applies to healthcare organizations. Using cases from a variety of sectors, we will explore core strategy frameworks and then examine the requirements for effective implementation.

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