SUNY Upstate, Syracuse University Partner for MD/MBA Program

SUNY Upstate Medical University and Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management are launching a joint MD/MBA, which allows students to earn two valuable degrees in a coordinated five-year program.

Applicants for this new joint program at Upstate Medical University/Syracuse University apply through the American Medical Common Application System (AMCAS) portal for the MD/MBA program application. For the joint program, following acceptance to Upstate’s Alan and Marlene Norton College of Medicine, applicants will then be reviewed by the MBA program at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. 

Accepted students will spend the first year—the fall, spring and summer sessions—studying for their MBA. Medical training will begin the fall of the second year, with the summer between the first and second year of medical school, completing an MBA practicum designed to provide additional work experience at the intersection of business and health care. 

Dean of the Norton College of Medicine at Upstate Lawrence Chin, MD says, “Upstate is pleased to add the MD/MBA option for our students. The opportunity to earn a business degree, while earning an MD, can help them maximize their impact in the field, whether they choose to pursue leadership in the medical field or apply their medical knowledge elsewhere.” 

Whitman Dean Eugene Anderson, says that, “The program was created based on an increased student and industry demand for students with multidisciplinary programs who understand both the technical and the people skills needed for success. We see substantial opportunity to support our students and local partners by offering this advanced business degree to medical students. We believe we are helping to prepare the next generation of leadership in the health care space.”

Upstate’s Chief Diversity Officer Daryll Dykes ’88 (A&S), MD, Ph.D., J.D., MBA, was instrumental in creating the joint program. “As someone who holds multiple degrees, I can attest to the value additional learning can bring to a person and a career. This program, which includes two of my alma maters, holds great promise for those students looking to challenge themselves and prepare for whatever their future may hold.”

The MD/MBA has already accepted students into the pilot program for Fall 2022, with three students expected to join this joint program.

One MD/MBA pilot student, Himani Akula, is completing her undergraduate degree at SUNY Albany majoring in human biology with minors in psychology, anthropology and biology. Akula says, “The plan was always medical school. In exploring my options, I talked to a lot of physicians and others in the health care field, and, what kept coming up was how important it was to also understand the business side of medicine—insurance, how to manage a practice, etc.”

“I started to understand that having that kind of business acumen would really give me autonomy. In addition to a medical degree, I’ll earn my MBA and have a great business background to help me further my goal of running my own practice, clinic or even hospital one day,” she says.

There are strong and immediate career opportunities after the completion of MD/MBA programs, including residencies. Common placements are at top consulting firms, in MedTech industries, as hospital administrators or clinical doctors.

Tuition during the MBA portion of the program will be determined by Syracuse University. Tuition for the remaining four years will be at the SUNY rate for medical MD education.

More detailed information about this new joint program can be found here.

Dawn McWilliams