QS Scholarship Winner: Advancing Healthcare Practice | TopMBA.com

QS Scholarship Winner: Advancing Healthcare Practice

By Mike Grill

Updated July 8, 2019 Updated July 8, 2019

Physical therapist, Kota Reichert, has been looking to introduce wearable fitness technology to cancer patients in an effort to improve the care that they are able to receive and, this year, he will be enrolling in the part-time MBA program at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business.

"I recognized that relatively few physical therapists had expertise in cancer and that the rehabilitation needs of cancer patients were increasing as survivorship improved," says the winner of a QS Community Scholarship 2016.

Reichert's background in physical therapy stretches to what he describes as "some very unique settings, including aquatics and hippotherapy (horse-back rehabilitation),” but it is the extra roles and participation in research councils and committees that he has consistently sought to take on as a member of Stanford Health Care’s oncology team that impressed the QS Scholarship committee. He will now combine the MBA with his continued work in this area.

The exchange of ideas and knowledge with fellow members of his class, especially those from non-clinical backgrounds, is perhaps the most appealing aspect of the MBA to Reichert, as he seeks to gain a fuller understanding of how healthcare practice can be advanced. Find out more about Reichert and his goals in healthcare in the interview below:

QS Community Scholarship winner, Kota Reichert
Why did you pursue a career in physical therapy?

I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy for multiple reasons. I have always enjoyed teaching and coaching and I found that physical therapists must regularly provide education and help find areas of motivation for their patients. Furthermore, I like the professional flexibility and variety afforded by physical therapy. Physical therapists have the option of working various hours in multiple settings, including outpatient clinics, home environments, inpatient rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. Prior to joining Stanford Health Care, I had worked with patients in some very unique settings, including aquatics and hippotherapy (horse-back rehabilitation).

What motivated you to help cancer patients with physical therapy?

Personal experience and mentorship during graduate school encouraged me to learn more about physical therapy for cancer patients. During my final full-time internship at an inpatient acute rehabilitation center, I gave a talk on the specific needs of cancer patients. I recognized that relatively few physical therapists had expertise in cancer and that the rehabilitation needs of cancer patients were increasing as survivorship improved. A few years later, when I was looking for an area of specialization among hospitalized patients, Stanford Health Care opened a position with their cancer rehabilitation team.

Your research has been looking at the use of wearable monitoring devices with hospitalized cancer patients. Have you seen positive results in your work here thus far?

We have only enrolled a small portion of our total anticipated cohort so far and are still in the preliminary stages. However, our subjects have demonstrated that they are more likely to participate in passive monitoring (with a wearable device) than monitoring which requires them to actively keep track of their experiences (such as filling out a journal).

Why did you feel an MBA was right at this stage of your career and what do you hope the qualification can do for your future career?

During the past eight years, including six in cancer care, I have gained a strong foundation as a clinician. I have had opportunities to teach, present at conferences, lead projects, and become familiar with the clinical research process. I am ready for new challenges.

I would like to learn more about the larger healthcare structure and to develop my analytical skills so that I can help improve long-term patient outcomes through coordinated care. I believe that pursuing an MBA will help me communicate better with people who have expertise in non-clinical areas, such as technology and finance. My experience with the research study using wearable monitoring devices has shown me some of the reasons why working with people who have diverse professional backgrounds are essential to advancing healthcare practice.

What are you most looking forward to from the UC Berkeley-Haas MBA?

I am excited to develop relationships with people who have a large variety of expertise, but who all decided to earn an MBA in a part-time, on-campus setting. I think that I will learn a lot from talking to my classmates about how they are implementing what we have discussed in the classroom. These conversations, with a group of individuals who have all signed up to embody Haas' defining principles (including being ‘Students Always’) will augment my education.


This article was originally published in July 2016 . It was last updated in July 2019

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