This past January, the Brandeis Executive MBA for Physicians program welcomed the class of 2020. The 29 physicians in the cohort join the program from 16 states (from every U.S. region) and India. The cohort also represents 14 specialties, including surgery, cardiology, pathology, and internal medicine. They are 41% women, and about one third are U.S. students of color. Their average age is 48 with over 15 years on average of post-residency work experience. During their first 10 day in-person residency session, they participated in EMBA orientation, developed their network by meeting and working with each other and the class of 2019, and began their first semester courses.
The class of 2020 began their EMBA preparation in December by attending one of two live orientation webinars that walked them through aspects of the program and what to expect during the January residency. They also purchased their course textbooks and started to review the tasks and deliverables ahead of time. Further preparation included completing a self-assessment and inviting colleagues of all organizational levels (supervisors, peers, and direct reports) to complete assessments to build a 360 degree report on the physicians’ leadership styles which was then reviewed during residency with the support of executive and peer coaches.
Once they arrived on site in January, they participated in sessions designed to orient students to what it is to be an EMBA participant and to allow the cohort to get to know each other and build strong bonds. In one such session, the students participated in a “Masterclass in Human Creativity and Collaboration” led by Program Director Dr. Jon Chilingerian and a Fortune magazine featured keynote speaker and workshop instructor who brings his perspective as an improviser, actor, writer & director to corporate and business education environments. In another session, students were able to practice how to engage as a class in a case discussion – a specific classroom tool used by many faculty to facilitate learning.
This January marked the first time that the program has welcomed students from two different cohorts for overlapping residencies. The class of 2019 returned for their third residency as the class of 2020 wrapped up their first residency. Members of the two cohorts were able to meet and network with fellow physicians from their regions and specialties. The program sponsored a cocktail hour mixer to facilitate the building of those relationships. Students have already seen the positive results of the networking. One student from the class of 2020 met with a group of 5 other physicians from her specialty to discuss a difficult work situation. This new structure will strengthen inter-cohort bonds and foster similar connections.
By the end of the residency session, the class of 2020 had multiple meetings of each of their first semester courses – Financial Accounting, Healthcare Economics, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, and Operations Management. Those courses now continue through live, virtual webinar sessions through mid-April. The Program staff and faculty are excited to see the class of 2020 when they return in May to start their second semester.