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USD to Offer Joint M.D.-MBA Program, Meets Demands in Health Care Industry

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Three USD Sanford School of Medicine students walking together wearing their white coats. They are all smiling. USD now offers a joint M.D.-MBA program to prepare medical students to become physician leaders in health care, research, business and management.
VERMILLION, S.D. – Students in the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine now have the opportunity to pursue an MBA degree and an M.D. degree simultaneously with the new M.D.-MBA program offered in partnership by the Sanford School of Medicine and the Beacom School of Business.
The joint-degree program will prepare medical students to become physician leaders in health care, research, business and management.
“Today’s health care providers face new challenges as they enter the world of corporate health systems, and the health care sector needs high-performing professionals to meet its growing demand,” said Dr. Tim Ridgway, vice president of health affairs and dean of the Sanford School of Medicine. “USD Sanford School of Medicine students have made it clear that additional business education will improve their strategic decision making and give them the tools to become impactful leaders in health care.”
“A challenge in the health care industry is that not enough clinicians are able to speak the language of business. This specialized training prepares them for a different way of thinking about addressing challenges,” said Venky Venkatachalam, Ph.D., dean of the Beacom School of Business. “This degree can improve interpersonal interactions of collaboration, teamwork, conflict resolution and negotiation. Learning to be a better leader – from managing issues to people – is of the utmost importance to today’s clinical administrators.”
The MBA program, which was integrated seamlessly into the timeline for the M.D. program, includes 33 credits and can be completed in four years to allow students to graduate with both degrees simultaneously. The MBA coursework is primarily online with in-person experiences.
“The M.D.-MBA program bridges the gap between health care and business, which ultimately equips physicians to provide informed and compassionate care,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “As the state’s flagship business school and only school of medicine, USD is uniquely positioned to prepare the next generation of health care leaders.”
USD will begin admitting students spring 2022.
USD’s Sanford School of Medicine is nationally known for excellence. With its award-winning curriculum, the school prepares medical students to practice in all fields of medicine and is particularly recognized and ranked for its reputation in family medicine and rural medicine. In addition to the M.D., it offers graduate degrees in basic biomedical science, sustains a vibrant and forward-looking research agenda, and is home to the interdisciplinary Center for Brain and Behavioral Research.
USD’s Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.
Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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