Quality management improvement and research in Neurosurgery
To what extent did the MBA IHM prepare you for the challenges of your current job? Which knowledge or skills have been especially useful?
A healthcare system, involving all stakeholders, challenges and problems, is quite complex. During my medical studies I learned evidence-based medicine, i.e. the how, what and when about diseases. However, healthcare delivery is more than that. You need logistics, management, leadership and moreover financial resources. The way we should divide resources, how funds are applied, where they come from and how we can improve healthcare quality is something no one teaches us during our medical studies.
As the way we evaluate healthcare delivery in medicine is changing, i.e. from volume to value, challenges in delivering evidence-based results on quality and quality control are being faced. Consequently, learning about these topics as a physician is of great importance. During my MBA in the Frankfurt School I learned interesting methods and research tools to apply in my field. I feel now the responsibility to apply these tools to improve how neurosurgical patients are treated, find out what type of patients suffer more complications or what kind of patients are in danger of being early readmitted, to name a few. My job is now to improve quality and increase the safety of my patients. Oh, there’s a lot to do now :)
How would you characterise the course of your career so far?
As a neurosurgery resident in a University Hospital in Germany, I have clinical, research and educational tasks. Until now, I focused on clinical trials and experimental research, but now a new field has opened up for me. After my MBA, I stayed in the same field (as I love my work and surgery too much). However, I learned skills and tools to improve the way I deliver healthcare. The social economic factors of a healthcare system are as important as the therapies we provide, since we need resources in order to deliver healthcare and the way we rationalize and divide these, will lead to the balance between the patients in need and the treatment we can offer.
What was your favourite module and why?
My favorite module was the USA module. Here we had the opportunity to study the healthcare system of the USA in the John Hopkins Business School in Washington and in Baltimore. It was not only impressive to get to know an institution like the John Hopkins Hospital but the challenges that Americans are facing are enriching topics to discuss and learn about. Discussing issues on how the most expensive healthcare system in the world is maintained, together with, to name a few, innovations through provider strategies, e.g. payer-provider integration, or project management in this context was enlightening. Moreover, Washington is a beautiful city full of life and history.
What’s your favourite memory of your time with the MBA IHM?
This is really a hard question. In 20 months we travelled to six countries and conducted over 10 modules. Uncountable amounts of skype and telephone conferences, as well as late night sessions discussing marketing strategies for a virtual game or team assignments, not to mention hundreds of memories of joy, excitement and challenges by dealing with intercultural differences. These experience changed my perception on work, resources, and perhaps even life.
However, if I had to pick one favorite memory, I would say it would be our graduation day; that was the moment when I realized and assimilated what happened in the last 20 months. Talking to everyone about their future plans, seeing how my colleagues had developed in the course of 20 months, changing their jobs, acquiring new tasks in their works and also understanding the shift in perception regarding healthcare, economics and cultural topics I experienced myself. I was grateful that I had the opportunity to join such programme.
How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?
An important part of the MBA were the friendships and relationships I could build and the contacts I made. The networking during the MBA is something one should not underestimate. Knowledge, if you don’t apply it, might skip your memory after a while, but we all know how relationships can last a lifetime and help you move forward. Sometimes knowing the right people at the right time, can help find the missing puzzle in a big quest. I believe alumni can help keeping the network of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management alive and add more puzzles to this pool of opportunities.