What is an MBA Clinical Leadership, and is it the right degree for me? | TopMBA.com

What is an MBA Clinical Leadership, and is it the right degree for me?

By Stephanie L

Updated August 17, 2021 Updated August 17, 2021

Sponsored by University of Birmingham Business School

Clinical leadership plays a fundamental role in healthcare around the world, but emerging challenges and growing demands mean more efficient clinical systems and decisive and innovative healthcare leadership are urgently needed.

TopMBA spoke with Iain Snelling and Mark Exworthy, who co-developed the new Online MBA Clinical Leadership offered by the University of Birmingham, to find out more about the AMBA-accredited programme, including why it’s needed and the ideal candidate. 

Meeting growing global demands and knowing how to respond to emerging challenges

From ageing populations to increased healthcare costs, greater patient expectations and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases, the importance of both confident clinical and business leadership within the healthcare industry can’t be underestimated.

The Online MBA Clinical Leadership has been developed to meet this growing global demand for health systems to better respond to new and emerging challenges. The programme develops participants to become more adept at managing the competing pressures both on and within healthcare systems, while ensuring that they deliver great value to both patients and society as a whole, explains Professor Exworthy.

“Clinicians, healthcare executives, policymakers and those in related industries will need to understand and be able to respond to these challenges, ensuring that the quality of patient care and access to care are maximised, while the cost of care is contained,” Exworthy added. 

This specialist MBA is jointly delivered by the triple-accredited Birmingham Business School and the long-established Health Services Management Centre – one of the UK’s leading centres for health and social care research, evaluation, teaching and professional development.

While the online MBA aspect covers the fundamentals of business leadership, there is an added focus on health services management with three specialised, healthcare-focused modules: leading clinicians; governance, policy and regulation; and digital health.

“There is evidence globally that health care organisations which are led by clinical staff can perform better than those where there are fewer clinicians in senior management roles,” said Snelling.

Snelling also highlights how, without effective clinical leadership in individual services, improvements cannot be made. “Improved clinical leadership is also crucial at the level of leading individual services. There are many examples of service improvements that have been achieved through clinicians being supported to lead.

“Our specialist MBA will support clinicians in leadership roles, and also those who work with them who want to engage with the clinical context of leadership.”

A flexible online MBA for proactive leaders throughout the healthcare sector

The Online MBA Clinical Leadership can be completed in as little as two and-a-half years, which is a huge draw for those who want to balance studying with their job, family life or both.

The flexible format also means participants can apply their learnings to their job straight away and further develop the clinical management skills necessary to communicate and lead effectively, work with policy and strategic changes and understand the value of innovative care delivery models using advanced digital technologies.

This makes the MBA suitable for both clinical and non-clinical professionals looking to progress to senior healthcare management roles, as well as other industry professionals keen to develop their business expertise, such as executives from the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, civil servants and policymakers.

The teaching style and course structure of the Online MBA Clinical Leadership sustains an accessible and interactive learning environment and features industry-relevant curricula, making the MBA applicable and accountable within the healthcare industry.  

As Snelling explains, “the specialist clinical leadership elements of the programme will help put general business learning into the specific context of health and healthcare. For those with a clinical background, bringing together clinical expertise and understanding of how healthcare organisations work will help them to work effectively in their services.”

“The specialist route would be aimed particularly (but not exclusively) at clinicians and senior managers in healthcare organisations. Increasing the number of clinicians in senior leadership positions, particularly on the boards of organisations, is a policy objective in many health systems across the world.” 

Opportunity to move up within your chosen field or switch career paths

A globally ranked, accredited MBA programme that has been developed for professionals can help prepare participants to move up within your chosen field, or switch career paths altogether.

The healthcare industry offers a number of different avenues for MBA graduates and healthcare professionals alike, and Exworthy anticipates the demand for graduates across general management and healthcare organisations is only likely to grow in future years.

“Healthcare organisations are the most likely recruiters of these graduates, although others would include government ministries, regulatory agencies, international agencies, management consultancies, as well as the pharmaceutical and life science industries,” said Exworthy.

This article was originally published in August 2021 .

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopMBA.com and TopUniversities.com (until September 2021), Stephanie created and published a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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