University of Tennessee

UT Introduces MBA For Healthcare Leadership

April 13, 2014

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is introducing a one-year Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program for healthcare professionals. The inaugural class begins January 2015.

Led by student requests, the program is a fusion of the College of Business Administration’s Physician Executive MBA program and its non-degree executive development programming. The Physician Executive MBA program has been ranked the No. 1 preferred MBA program exclusively for physicians by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician magazine for more than ten years, and the non-degree executive development programming has improved patient outcomes and organizational efficiencies within healthcare enterprises worldwide.

Unlike the physicians-only Physician Executive MBA program, the Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program is for professionals in all healthcare arenas, including nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, physician assistants, those involved in research and development, among others.

Kate Atchley, executive director of executive-level MBAs, said the program connects business acumen and transformational leadership with the issues and challenges facing today’s healthcare industry, giving healthcare professionals the tools and knowledge they need to make an impact on the healthcare industry.

“We want passionate professionals to learn the business of healthcare, and introduce them to the Washington, D.C., policy makers, so that they can revolutionize the industry,” Atchley said. “The curriculum focuses on elements essential to lead in the healthcare environment, specifically leadership, strategic thinking and planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce environment, change management, operations and results.”

The curriculum combines periodic distance learning sessions with four residency periods: three one-week sessions UT and a one-week healthcare policy immersion trip in Washington, D.C. The immersion trip serves as the program’s cornerstone where  students get to interact with government insiders, legislators, and officials involved in healthcare.

Students will also complete an Organizational Action Project, which integrates classwork with issues at their current organization. Bruce Behn, associate dean of graduate and executive education, believes the Organizational Action Project is not only a great hands-on experience, but it also offers students a return on their investment.

“In a time when healthcare is facing unprecedented pressures, the Organizational Action Project can improve outcomes for each student’s organization and clients,” Behn said. “The Organizational Action Project is a requirement in all of our executive-level MBAs. We’ve seen incredible organizational improvements and growth, including new service lines, increased patient flow, and new compensation structures that support organizational goals.”

The program also develops each student’s leadership skills through course content and a 360-degree analysis of each student’s personal leadership strengths and opportunities.

For more information about the Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program, visit