The MD/MBA Dual Degree: Then What?

A retrospective look at MD/MBA graduates in their careers and experiences with MD/MBA dual degree training

Joshua T. Goldman, MD/MBA 2010 | Robert J. Wallace, MD/MBA | University of Southern California | Keck School of Medicine

If you are an MD/MBA graduate and have completed the entirety of your training (including residency and fellowship) and are now working, we would love to include you in our ongoing study.  Please follow this link to participate.  Thank you!

The combined MD/MBA degree has grown in popularity significantly over the past 10 years, with over 50 programs in existence today.  The need for combined business and medical graduate training is apparent given the current state of health care in America, the dissatisfaction of many practicing physicians, and the need for physician leadership in improving and containing costs in our system.

At the same time, little is known about the career paths of joint program graduates following matriculation.  In addition, the effectiveness and utility of the combined training remains to be assessed.  This study seeks to investigate the utility of the MD/MBA degree as exemplified by the career paths of MD/MBA graduates in the workforce, review the breadth of those career paths, and quantify the educational, financial, and social benefit of completing the combined degree.


The study participants included 55 MD/MBA program graduates who have completed the entirety of their medical and business training (physicians currently completing their residency training were not included in the study).  The study consisted of an online survey created using SurveyMonkey.  The survey was e-mailed to graduates of MD/MBA programs across the United States who were identified by MD/MBA Program Directors, through personal networks of the researchers, and through targeted internet searches.   Survey results were tabulated and analyzed using SurveyMonkey & Microsoft Excel’s data analysis tools.

Study Participants

Career Paths

Salary Analysis

Graduate Satisfaction


Our study shows that the MD/MBA degree is considered useful and delivers a significant return on investment for MD/MBA graduates currently in the workforce. The overwhelming majority of MD/MBA graduates complete residency training and go on practice medicine in their career.  MD/MBA graduates tend to receive higher starting salaries in their careers due to their leadership roles in organizations and ancillary business ventures than traditional physicians.  Additionally, the majority of respondents are very satisfied with their careers and their lifestyles.  Drawing on their feedback regarding the most useful aspects of their training as well as the deficits in their business education, MD/MBA Program Directors can better customize the curriculum of the combined degree in the future.


1.  American Medical Group Association Medical Group Compensation & Financial Survey 2009
2.  Goldman J, Katsufrakis P, Cassmassi B. “Where we are Today & Where we can Grow: An Analysis of MD/MBA Programs from the perspective of students, program directors and captains of industry.” MD/MBA Annual Program Conference 2008.

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