In early January, 32 members of the Executive MBA for Physicians class of 2022 kicked off their 16-month journey with a 10-day virtual orientation and residency experience.
- Come from 14 states, Germany, and Saudi Arabia;
- Represent 11 specialties, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, urology, and numerous surgical subspecialties;
- Are 38% women and 40% US students of color (as % of US);
- Have an average age of 48 and an average of over 15 years of post-residency work experience.
The physicians began Thursday afternoon with a series of orientation sessions to introduce them to the program and each other and to prepare them for the work ahead. The program director, Dr. Jon Chilingerian, led them in a leadership case study discussion to anchor them in the types of material and delivery formats they can expect in the EMBA. Students then had the chance to literally get moving and get to know one another through activities with an improv instructor. The focus of “taking care of your partner” tied back both to their daily work as well as to the group work they will be doing through the program with fellow students. That night, students participated in a virtual mixer where they broke up into small groups and continued networking. In the morning, students completed a simulation and worked with a media specialist to learn about communication during times of crisis.
Friday afternoon marked the end of orientation and the beginning of the first semester classes. The program curriculum focuses on core business concepts in the first semester with Financial Accounting, Economics, Operations Management, and Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Students also participated in guided refection with professional and peer coaches while reviewing the results of a 360 degree leadership assessment that they completed prior to the start of the program.
The 10 days wound down with some more social activities. Students had a chance to interact with members of the EMBA class of 2021, who were in their third semester residency. They met in small groups to learn who else is in this growing network of physicians and heard the perspectives of experienced students. The session closed with an intimate dinner with the Program Director. Students enjoyed a catered meal, which the program sent to each individual, and used the time to further bond as a cohort.
While all of these sessions would normally be held in person, the program adapted them to be delivered virtually due to COVID restrictions. To do so, even more emphasis than usual was placed on varying teaching methods, including simulations and guided group work. Also, to address the potential of screen fatigue, the schedule included multiple free blocks so that students could step away from Zoom and focus on review and preparation for upcoming sessions.
Now that the 10-day session has concluded, students have returned to their daily working lives and will continue the program through the synchronous webinar portion of the semester with class sessions one evening a week and every other Saturday. This residency was a unique occurrence, but it was a successful 10 days filled with learning and connections. The program team is excited to welcome the class of 2022 in person as soon as circumstances allow.